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A week in the life of Gemma Langford

Dental Hygienist.


Day 1:

Hi everyone!

My name is Gemma Langford and I’m a Dental Hygienist currently living and working in Southport, Merseyside but I’m originally from Manchester. I work in a large, private dental practice full time. I am the Lead Dental Hygienist for the practice and my work mostly consists of non-surgical periodontal therapy and supportive maintenance.

I am the founder of the ‘North West Periodontal Study Group’, which is sponsored by GSK. This is a study group primarily for hyg/therapists but we do have a few dentists that also like to attend. I run lecture evenings every three months and we have been lucky to have some fabulous speakers.

I also run a dental education programme for our local schools/nurseries/brownie and scout groups called ‘Healthy Mouths’. This is also sponsored by GSK and I have been lucky enough to be able to work with great schools and kids in my area. In the last 6 months I have delivered this programme to approx 300 children and I’m set to reach the 500 by September 2012.

I am also an undergraduate at UCLAN topping up my Hygienist Diploma to a BSc Dental Studies Degree. I am just finishing the Periodontal Therapy module, we had our final presentation day on Saturday. It was very nerve racking but everyone’s presentations were fantastic.

On top of all this I am also a Key Opinion Leader for TePe UK. I was hoping to start a PTTLS course but I’ll have to think about that as I start my dissertation in September. The topic I have chosen for this is Quorum Sensing, though I’m not sure how I’m going to approach it yet!

I have two children, a little girl who is 3 and a little boy who is 1. It’s a good job I have a supportive Fiancé otherwise I would never be able to fit every thing in!!

Today I have been working in practice, mainly treating maintenance patients. I’m going home soon to feed/bath the kids and finish my portfolio for uni :D

Chat soon!!

Gem x


Day 2:

Hi Heart your smilers :D

Busy clinic today- 2 non-surgical periodontal therapy patients this morning, a new patient assessment this afternoon and supportive maintenance in between!

I’m happy to report I finished my portfolio for uni last night. For the Perio module, we had to select three patient case studies. I have been working on mine since January and I’m so pleased that I’ve completed all the cases.

After work I went home last night to my two little rascals. Their dad is looking after them at the moment while I work full-time. I bathed the kids, while Anthony made tea. How lucky am I??

I thought I’d chat abit about ‘commandment’ 3 today- Connect. Above you will see a picture of me and my hygienist friend Traci at a recent Key Opinion Leaders meeting for TePe UK. I met Traci via twitter two years ago and this picture represents our first actual live face-to-face ‘tweet-up’. Twitter has been fantastic for me over the past two years, both professionally and personally. There is a wonderful ‘dental family’ on twitter that offers fantastic peer support. Being a hygienist can be extremely lonely at times, there can be several days that go by without me seeing any of my hyg team. Its great to be able to be able to ask other hygienist/therapists for advice, and knowing that a support network is available online has been a godsend to me at times!

I really do urge dental professionals to find a way to connect with their colleagues, whether it is via twitter or any other means. Support and advice from your peers is invaluable.

My twitter name is @gumsareforlife – come on get ‘CONNECTING’


Day 3:

Happy Hump Day everyone!

I finally posted my portfolio off to uni today so hopefully that’s one module finished!

Wednesday is my late night and it’s been a busy day again today, it’s a good job we have a fantastic team of nurses here to keep us going!

This is a picture of our fab nursing team smiling away and supporting team GB. These girls are the backbone of our practice and I really appreciate all their hard work. Layla my qualified nurse is away for the week so I’m being supported by Kim who is one of our junior nurses. I’m really lucky that I get to have a nurse with me full-time; I know lots of hyg/therapist colleagues that have to work alone.

I have also been working on the line-up of speakers for our study group today. Our next speakers are going to be Phil Greene and Maggie Jackson and I’m really looking forward to the evening. I also had an invitation myself today from another group to give a lecture at the end of the year, which is a fantastic honour for me.

Hope your all having a brill day

Gem x


Day 4:

Hi all!

This is a photo of the goodie bags that are given out to the schools that I visit with 'Healthy Mouths'. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful support from GSK. The kids love learning about the benefits and importance of a healthy mouth - its surprising how interactive they are!

Just got a teleconference regarding ‘healthy mouths’, hopefully more schools in my area will be able to access the campaign this year.

I’m pleased to announce that I will be speaking at the BADT NE regional group meeting on 1st December 2012. I’m so looking forward to it; I’ll be speaking about my two favourite subjects - Perio and TePe’s!!!

Today I started a split mouth non-surgical perio case, which I’m hoping will have fantastic results. It’s brilliant to have the freedom in my practice to be able to utilise my skills and treat perio successfully. The hygienist’s in my team treat all our initial non-surgical periodontal therapy cases in-house and we get wonderful results.

If anyone would like any advice regarding setting up a schools campaign in their area please get in touch :D

Chat soon!

Gem x


Day 5:

Hi everyone!

Hope you have had a great week. I came across this blog by Colin Campbell via twitter and thought it would be good to share with you all:


The "Enhanced Hygienist" is a fantastic assett to any dental practice, and i hope to see our role expand further in the future.

This weekend i intend to relax with the kids, its been a hectic week!!

I've really enjoyed being part of heart your smile this week, i hope you have enjoyed being a part of 'my life'!