Oral Manifestations of COVID-19: Early Studies Suggest Possible Systemic Link

Information is updated often while we are still studying COVID-19 and its effects. Dental hygienists should be aware of even possible legitimate theories from scientists since this is a novel virus. Recently, scientists have been making an oral health connection to COVID-19. In addition, patients often look to hygienists and other dental health professionals to have a dialogue about the...

Habit Shift: Getting Dental Patients Back on Track after Lockdown

The pandemic has been rough for most people, and many routines and habits have been dramatically altered or dropped altogether. While many people are returning to the office, some have been trying to adapt to their "new normal." Many dental patients who worked from home were rolling out of bed and going down the hall to their computer and...

Salivary Diagnostics Can Help Bridge Systemic Health for Dental Hygienists

In dentistry, saliva has traditionally been more of a nuisance than anything else. Dental hygienists know the constant struggle of trying to keep patients from choking during a prophy or attempting to keep a tooth dry when placing a sealant. Yet, what if saliva holds the key to integrating medicine and dentistry? Salivary diagnostics is an insightful tool that dental...

Research Analysis: The Risk of Dental Professionals Contracting COVID-19

Emerging infectious diseases are a concern for public health and safety. Experiencing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the need to better understand the process of developing guidelines to ensure public safety while also considering financial burdens. At the start of the pandemic, dental practices were shut down as the mode of transmission and infection rate were still not completely...

Huddle Up: Suggestions for Staff Meetings in Busy Dental Offices

As a seasoned hygienist of working in multiple practices, I have developed an appreciation for the unique differences between them. Some practices hold a morning huddle every day before they grab their first patients of the day. Others have a monthly meeting or may not have any huddles or meetings at all (maybe only when necessary). A morning huddle is...

Hygiene School During COVID: How My Class Braved Through It

The sun is barely out this morning, and my six clinic buddies and I wait in our cars in the campus parking lot. When the clock hits seven, our dental hygiene instructors emerge from the building holding baskets that contain thermometers, masks, and sanitizers. We wear our masks and lower the windows. They greet us and take our temperatures, ask...

Research Supports SARS-CoV-2 May be Spread through Saliva

Finding the Virus Vectors During the first year of the pandemic, there was growing worldwide consensus that COVID-19 was spread primarily through respiratory means. It was also shown quite early in the pandemic that transmission from presymptomatic/asymptomatic carriers was a virus vector as well. The reported respiratory studies drove the vast majority of research and focus to those areas, and reporting...

Dentistry’s Job Market: Hey, Doctor! Where Did All the Hygienists Go?

If COVID-19 wasn't enough to cause practice disruption, the shortage of registered dental hygienists certainly is. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that, as of 2019, that there are 226,400 dental hygiene jobs in the U.S., with a projected increase in demand of 13,300 by 2029.1 This article explores the current status of the hygienist shortage as...

Dental Tales of a Hygienist Who Received the COVID-19 Vaccine

We have all learned that working as a dental hygienist during a pandemic is stressful. Patients were canceling appointments quicker than my sister cancels her Fabletics account after using the two for $24 deal. Offices had to shift routines and form new comprehensive exposure plans. PPE was needed more than ever, but there was a national shortage of gloves...

The Potential Use of Environmentally Friendly PPE in Dental Hygiene

Alternative solutions for environmentally friendly personal protective equipment (PPE) are needed in order to reduce the amount of medical waste created by dental offices. This can start with dental hygienists who have always had a public health advocacy role since the profession's inception. Environmental health and safety are included within that realm of public health for dental hygienists. The American...

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