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...

The Today’s RDH Pandemic Dental Hygiene Survey: The Results

The Today's RDH pandemic survey results are based on 2,602 responses to a Today's RDH, non-scientific questionnaire posted on Facebook. The survey was posted on the Dental Hygiene with Kara RDH Facebook page, and responses were gathered from January 20 through February 11. Less than 1% of the survey respondents indicated that they were not a resident of the United...

Hydrogen Peroxide Pre-rinse during COVID: Have We Been Misled?

Hygiene schools teach the importance of preprocedural rinses (PPMR), viewing it as a method for lowering the bacterial load and preventing the spread of disease/microorganisms. When the pandemic descended upon us, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) once again pushed the narrative that preprocedural rinses, specifically hydrogen peroxide, were necessary and beneficial to...

COVID-19 Vaccine: Will Vaccinations Be Mandatory for Dental Professionals?

After 10 long months of experiencing some of the darkest hours in world history, the calvary finally arrived – in the form of a vaccine. The pandemic brought grief to many who lost loved ones and others who suffered economic challenges. These emotions may still be a top concern to some reading this article, and my heart is with...

Battling Dental Patient and Hygienists’ Anxiety through the COVID-19 Pandemic

A year ago, I had a patient who experienced a panic attack, and everything I learned in hygiene school went out the window. My mind went completely blank, and I ran out to get help. I gave her bottled water and stayed by her side while the dentist asked her to take deep breaths and think of her happy...

Emotional Regulation: How Dental Hygienists Can Cope during Stressful Times

As a society and a profession, we are facing an extremely stressful time. The COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions are not only a public health emergency, but it has quickly become an emotional and mental health crisis. Stress-related depression and anxiety are rising while families are trapped at home with no or little income, homeschooling children, and under a constant barrage...

Pandemic and Eating Disorders: Hygienists Can Address this Mental Health Issue

With the onset of COVID-19 and a political environment where governments weigh imposing restrictions regarding where consumers can gather outside of their homes, a rise in mental health issues has inadvertently also occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states on its website that "fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be...

COVID-19 Vaccinations: Analyzing Potential Virus Protection for Dental Professionals

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up to date at the time of original article publication (December 24, 2020), but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit coronavirus.gov for the latest news and information on COVID-19. The current pandemic...

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