Primary Become A Patient Book Your Dental Hygienists Appointments with Direct Access REGISTER AS A PATIENT LEARN MORE A new law has come into play, which makes it much easier for dental patients to see a dental hygienist. The change in legislation means that patients can now see a dental hygienist without a referral or recommendation from their dentist.
Direct Access Dental Hygienist Appointments

What does Direct Access mean for Dental Hygiene Patients:

From the General Dental Council (GDC) Guidance On Direct Access:

Dental hygiene is the cornerstone of good oral health and improved access to dental hygienists will only serve to improve standards of oral health and reduce the risk of hygiene-related diseases, such as decay and gum disease.

News of the change has been welcomed by dentists and dental hygienists, as dental hygiene sessions can make a real difference to oral health, as well as being beneficial for the aesthetic of the smile, an issue which is increasingly important for a large number of patients.

Changes in the law, which enable direct access to dental hygienists, are also positive news for nervous patients, as many people who suffer from dental anxiety feel more comfortable seeing a hygienist than a dentist. Regular hygiene sessions also reduce the need for complex treatment, which can be a very daunting prospect.

How can patients benefit from visiting a dental hygienist regularly?

Many patients may assume that they do not need to see a dental hygienist because they don’t have tooth pain and their teeth appear to be in good condition, but a trip to the hygienist will always be beneficial.

Even if you have strong, healthy teeth, seeing your hygienist will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Hygienists are able to provide a much more intensive clean that brushing at home; hygiene sessions remove all the plaque and bacteria from the mouth, leaving your teeth glossy and smooth and your mouth clean and fresh.

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To Book Your Appointment Directly with Your Hygienist
–without needing to change your dentist.

    Become A Patient

    Please register with your contact details:

    GDC (General Dental Council) – Direct Access Guidance

    If you would like to learn more, you can directly download the guidance published  by GDC in PDF format, using the link below:

    Download PDF – 136.1 KB

    Claire McCARTHY


    Adjunct Professor
    Ashman Department of Periodontology & Implant Dentistry
    College of Dentistry, New York University, USA

    Vivienne & Maurice Wohl Foundation Award Recipient 
    PhD in Risk Communication as a means for Behaviour Change in Primary Dental Settings.
    Dental Institute, King’s College London, UK

    Former Course Director / Senior Clinical Teacher
    Undergraduate & Post Graduate Periodontology Programmes
    Dental Institute, King’s College London, UK












    Clinical Trials

    Short Bio :


    Claire is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin in Dental Hygiene and also holds a Masters Degree in Teach-ing and Learning in Higher and Professional Education from the University of London, Institute of Educa-tion. Her dissertation was a comparative study of dental hygiene curriculum design, content and delivery. She was awarded a title of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2007 and is also a member of the International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations. To date Claire has 22 years clinical & aca-demic & research experience within Higher Education in the UK, Ireland and the US.


    She was recently appointed permanent faculty and is a professor in the department of periodontics & im-plant dentistry at NYU since 2014. She is responsible for the calibration course and delivery of non-surgical periodontal and implant therapy to post-graduate periodontal and implant residents. Having held the post of Program Lead for BDS Undergraduate Periodontal Education at Kings College London from 2008 – 2015, she is experienced in leading and coordinating large groups of students through didactic, pre-clinical and clinical education. She also teaches at postgraduate level both at KCL, delivering non-surgical periodontal and implant theory and practical techniques to residents of MClinDent and Specialist Periodon-tal training programmes.


    Claire is the recent recipient of the Vivienne Wohl Foundation Award and she was selected for a prestigious scholarship to undertake a PhD in risk communication of dental diseases among dentists with the Behav-ioural and Social Sciences group, at the Department of Population & Oral Health also at Kings College London. In her project titled, risk communication as a means to support behaviour change in primary dental settings, she hopes to develop a toolkit for GDP’s based on findings of the Steele report. She is currently studying biostatistics and academic writing along with working on her review of the literature and project development. Claire also consults on a practice based study where some behavioural interventions are be-ing tested in a group of patients and has been actively involved in collating the data for this study.

    • Research Collaborations
    • Bristol DFT Oral Hygiene Techniques based on Theory
    • Welcomme Microbiome
    • GSK Gas Chromotography & Oral Malodor
    • NYU Behaviour Change

    International speaker

    She lectures internationally and recent conferences where she presented on peri-implant maintenance in-clude the Turkish Periodontal Society and the British Dental Association annual meeting. She recently presented at the International Symposium Dental Hygiene in Switzerland and at the British Association of Dental Therapy annual scientific conference on implant maintenance protocol and undergraduate education of this subject.


    She writes regularly for the dental press and recently became an editorial advisor for Oral Health and Implant Dentistry Today. She regularly reviews papers for publication and research projects undertaken by undergraduate and post-graduate students at Kings College London.

    • Textbook Clinical dentistry published 2018
    • Textbook Procedures in Periodontics (Due for Publication 2019)


    Claire is a key opinion leader for several dental companies, with a specific role in instrument design and the integration of new technology into undergraduate periodontal curricula. She is also a consultant to pri-vate dental practices wishing to increase their patient base and prepare for CQC requirements. She works with practice owners and their teams to ensure that practices are reaching their full potential and delivering an exceptional standard of care in a safe and welcoming environment.

    Teaching Credentials

    As a clinical educator achieving several recognised qualifications and credentials in formal education, combined with a varied experience in dental education, she set up her own CPD website and is focused on the education of general dentists in the diagnosis and treatment of Periodontal disease. Claire is passion-ate about non-surgical periodontal instrumentation, patient education and disease prevention. She has a special interest in peri-implant disease management.
    She is a pioneer for oral health promotion and disease prevention and was awarded a stamp of excellence in recognition for her hard work and dedication to oral hygiene for 2016.

    Professional Bodies

    Claire is a an active member of the British Periodontal Society, British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy , the American Dental Hygiene Association and the Irish Association of Dental Hygien-ists.

    Claire is also actively involved in producing educational guidance for clinicians on the importance of monitoring and treating dental implants in general practice.

    To contact Claire, email for educational material and free online CPD.

    Contact Claire on: +44 7793133814 or +1 917 436 8841

    Email: or

    Current member of Faculty at: NYU

    PhD Research: KCL

    Dental Hygiene Therapy Representative: British Society of Periodontology (ECG)

    External Programme Accreditation Committee: Irish Dental Council

    Faculty and Teaching posts: Charles Clifford Sheffield, Eastman dental institute hygiene school, London Deanery, Norwich & Norfolk University NNUH, Health Education England (HEE)

    Research Hygienist: GSK, Welcomme trust & KCL

    Studied at: Trinity College Dublin TCD (Dublin Dental Hospital), Institute of Education (University of London), King’s College London

    Member of : British society of Periodontology BSP, Fellow of Higher Education Academy FHEA, MDDUS, ADI, IDHA

    GDC Registration: DH6197


    Dental Education in Schools Project


    In a pilot study in a school in London to hammer home the message that good oral health is vital to children and parents.
    We organised a day of fun and education, designed to support national efforts to reduce the number of days children are forced to take off school for medical appointments related to poor dental health.


    All 1,200 pupils, aged from three to 11 received free toothbrushes and participated in workshops and educational sessions showing them why it is important to have good oral health and demonstrated the correct way to clean their teeth.

    Headteacher Jane Flynn said: “We want to reduce absence levels caused by poor dental health and we thought this was a great way of working constructively with our pupils and parents to get a very important health message across in a fun and informative way.”

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