Meet Our Dental Hygienist Claire

Meet Our Dental Hygienist Claire

Hello everyone,

As promised in my last blog we start our series of ‘meet the team’ pieces and what better way to start then with our returning hygienist Claire.

It’s great to have Claire back in the team regularly as we now have Surgery 4 up and running, and although she never really left the practice working as a consultant and helping mentor Neve, it’s amazing to have her back in the saddle (stool).

So here we go – let’s get to know Claire better.

What is your name?

Claire Willson.

What is your job title?

Dental hygienist.

How long have you worked at Moreton Dental?

I joined Moreton Dental when the practice started out, nearly 7 years ago. I worked part time, 3-4 days a week. I had a couple of years off to be with my family, but covering for Neve if she was on holiday, so I was always involved within the surgery. I have come back on a more permanent basis 1 day a week.

What does your job entail?

The main part of my job is to clean patient’s teeth, so they are free from bacteria and calculus deposits and to educate them on how to keep their teeth clean at home, (for example using an electric toothbrush and in between cleaning efficiently), to help prevent gum disease which can lead to tooth loss! Also making patients aware of any gum problems they may have and how to prevent this from getting worse and to improve it.

Any specialities or professional interests?

My most favourite professional interest is bacterial removal (This is what causes gum disease). I am very lucky to be provided with the latest piece of equipment (the airflow) to help me do this very efficiently. I use a technique which I have been trained to do, which includes bleeding scores, the colouring of the plaque and bacteria, so the patient can see where they are missing with their cleaning and so I can see where I need to clean efficiently.

I also like to learn about the links between oral bacteria and other health conditions in the body, for example, the link between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

What is a typical day like?

I start at 9am. I am very lucky too to be provided with a nurse, so I can spend a full ½ hour with my patients. I am normally very busy and have patients every half hour. At the end of the appointment, I write up my notes whilst my nurse gets ready for our next patient. (We are a great team!) I go out for a walk at lunchtime to stretch my legs (I sit down for much of the day) or I catch up with my colleagues to hear about their morning and then back to work for the afternoon. I finish at 4.

Favourite memory from work?

My favourite memory is when a patient bought me a bunch of flowers to say that he appreciated all my hard work! How nice was that?

What’s a common question you get from patients?

Should I use a mouthwash? My reply is no. Some mouthwashes stain your teeth! The best way to remove plaque is by mechanical removal, (efficient technique with an electric toothbrush and floss or interdental brushes). Plaque is very sticky on your teeth and I feel that a mouthwash isn’t as efficient as removing it as with the toothbrush and interdental brushes or floss.

What do you like most about your job?

That’s easy to answer. I love interacting with my patients, getting to know them. As I have been at the practice for a long time, I have built up good friendships with a lot of my patients and enjoy seeing them when they come in for their next appointment and hearing about what they have been up to since I have seen them last.

Also, the satisfaction that the patient has listened to my advice and has done well at keeping their gums in a good condition between appointments! I like to compare bleeding scores from previous visits to encourage patients to keep up their good work. I love that patients have competitions with their scores between family members!

Where are you from?

I’m from a town in Cambridgeshire called St. Neots. But I have lived in London and Dubai, but I have settled down in Stratford Upon Avon.

Where did you go to school?

I went to the local infant, junior and senior school in my town. They were all walking distance from my home. As an adult I went to Huntingdon college to do more qualifications and then onto Guys hospital in London, where I trained to be a Dental Hygienist.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

I go to the local health club and do Pilates 4 times a week. It’s great for helping me with my flexibility and strength. I also love walking my dog in the countryside or on the beach. We go to Devon a lot and love being around the water and walking the dog there too. I would like to start travelling again when my children go off to university.

Is there a fact about you that many people may not know?

I lived in Dubai for 14 years and had a great life there, working as a hygienist, travelling to a lot of countries in the Middle East and Far East. I started my family there too. It was an amazing experience, but I now love my life back in the UK.


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