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Heather Hakes, RDH

Heather Hakes, RDH
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Heather Hakes, RDH, was born in Upstate New York where she started her Dental Hygiene career in 2000. Heather practiced in Upstate New York for three years at a general dentist practice where she gained experience with high and low functioning special needs patients. Heather then went on to pediatrics before moving to Virginia in 2007. She currently practices in Virginia in a general dental practice, where she has worked for the last ten years. Heather also works one day per week in an office with periodontal focus. Heather resides in rural Virginia with her husband, Robert, her son Ryan, and two dogs, Rex and Jake. Heather enjoys home improvement projects, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

Sleep Apnea: A Growing Health Concern Hygienists Need to Know About

Sleep apnea has become a growing health concern because of its link to other potentially fatal health conditions. Sleep apnea occurs when there are pauses in the breathing of people sleeping, and may result in the sufferer waking and gasping for air. As dental clinicians, we have the ability to evaluate our patients for potential sleep disorders, based on...

Athletic Mouth Guards: Playing It Safe

It is that time of year when the kids start a new school year, and many participate in school sports programs. Although schools attempt to keep our children safe on and off the field, the regulations for athletic mouth guards are not consistent with the need to prevent injury in the majority of school-based sports. A dental professional has...

10 Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists (Plus 5 Patient Pet Peeves)

We all go through our days capping our frustrations from those unexpected little annoyances, aka pet peeves. A pet peeve is defined as “a minor annoyance that individuals identify as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find.” Whether you are driving in your car and someone pulls out in front of you, only to turn...

Oil Pulling: Is it Effective?

I have recently been asked my professional opinion on “coconut oil pulling” by numerous patients. Although unfamiliar with this technique, I was curious about its benefits to dental health. What is “Oil Pulling?” Oil pulling is an ancient and traditional technique that is practiced in Southeast Asia and India. The remedy claims to remove bacterial toxins, mostly Streptococcus mutans, which...

The History of Dental Hygiene: Development through the Years

As I get older, I notice myself commonly making references to the past by using the phrase, “Back in the day…” Music and television award shows also pay homage to their past and the changes that have taken place over the years. Then, too, education teaches lessons on past world history as it does on current world affairs. History...

Communication in Dentistry: The Layman’s Way

Communication is the process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of articulation. This article will focus on replacing dental terms and conditions using layman terms to ensure patient understanding and, thus, better communication. Providing a clearer picture of the diagnosis, treatment or recommendations will allow clinicians to bridge the gap between themselves and their...

Corporate Dentistry: How to Maintain Autonomy in a Corporate World

The abundance of private practices purchased by corporations has risen over the last decade. This increase in corporate dental practices and understanding the corporate web has influenced my research on the long-term effects it may have on the dental community. As a dental hygienist for over seventeen years, I have always been proud of the dental community for its ability...

Periodontal Diagnosis: How to Maintain Positive Control of the Appointment

As dental hygienists we’ve all been there, treating a new patient with a periodontal diagnosis.  How do we turn an appointment around after we diagnose a new patient who has been seen by the same dentist regularly for years yet has never heard of periodontal disease?  It’s an everyday struggle for a dental hygienist to gain control of the...