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...

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...

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