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Tanya L. Smith, RDH, BS

Tanya L. Smith, RDH, BS
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Tanya L. Smith, RDH, BS has been a clinical dental hygienist in private practice in Tucson, AZ, since graduating from Rio Salado College in 2011. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene at Northern Arizona University, Summa Cum Laude, in 2014. A regular volunteer at St. Elizabeth’s Health Center Dental Clinic, she also enjoys writing, research, and travel in her spare time.

A Dental Hygienist’s Role in Early Childhood Caries Prevention

Early childhood caries (ECC) is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases, and possibly the most preventable. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) defines ECC as a significant chronic disease resulting from an imbalance of multiple risk and protective factors over time1. In the United States, 3-6% of children under the age of 6 are affected by...

Is Malpractice Liability Insurance Necessary for Dental Hygienists?

Malpractice is defined as “a dereliction of professional duty or failure to exercise an ordinary degree of professional skill or learning by one rendering professional services which results in injury, loss, or damage.” Dental malpractice is a deviation from the standard of care, failure to diagnose and/or treat a patient resulting in injury to them3. Dental hygienists are licensed professionals...

A Dental Hygienists’ Refresher on Periodontal Probing

Dental hygienists learn early on that the periodontal probe is essentially our greatest tool in the assessment of periodontal health. Periodontal probing creates a record of health or disease over time that dental hygienists can reference to, evaluate healing, or determine the possible need to implement a more aggressive treatment plan. Including dental radiographs, a complete periodontal evaluation allows...

HIV Update for Dental Hygienists

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) became an epidemic in the United States in the early 1980s causing great concern for many healthcare workers. Today, after almost forty years of research, infection control guidelines and universal standard precautions are set in place due to the epidemic to ensure clinicians and patients are protected with proper PPE, no matter their health status....

Erythritol: The Other Sugar Alcohol

The sugar alcohol family, known as polyols, have become popular in chewing gums, lozenges, and dental hygiene products due to their unique ability to add sweetness and improve oral health. Introduced in 1970, xylitol has recently been at the forefront of the discussion with benefits backed by extensive research. It has been incorporated into many dental hygiene products across...

Keeping a Grateful Heart in Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is a highly rewarding profession that allows us to serve our communities. We help patients maintain an important part of their overall health, sometimes contributing to transformations that allow people to smile again. We grow with our patients and their families over time, and those we work with on a daily basis become like family. However, as...

Dental Patient Transportation Issues? There’s an App for That!

Dental offices all experience a certain number of broken and missed appointments that can become a common source of frustration. Transportation issues have long been a concern in relation not only to lost production for dental providers but as a major barrier to access to care for many patients.  According to federal government research, 3 million people a year...

Considerations for the Management of Geriatric Patients

The United States has a growing demographic of older adults, those 65 years of age and older, who are increasingly becoming a large part of dental practices. Dental professionals can play an integral part in helping this population to overcome physical, cognitive, and environmental changes; including challenges in relation to their oral health that they may face with aging....