Still Negative: How Do Hygienists Create Change?

A recent article about negativity in the dental hygiene profession was published in Today’s RDH, and the Facebook posts of the article (here and here) resulted in comments, concerns, and questions about personal protective equipment (PPE) and the current state of dentistry. I thought my article brought out an interesting thought process that should be addressed. One hygienist said, “Our...

Coronavirus: What Dental Professionals Need to Know about COVID-19

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 publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced...

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...

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...

How COVID-19 May Have Made Dental Professionals Stronger

It is no surprise to anyone that our world is a much different place than it was just a few short months ago. Some businesses are still closed. Some restaurants are still only doing curbside service. Some of us were introduced to unemployment benefits for the first time. Masked individuals are a normal part of our everyday lives, and...

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...

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...

Ask Kara RDH: Why Isn’t Today’s RDH Addressing New Infection Control Guidelines?

Why aren’t there any articles on Today’s RDH addressing new infection control guidelines for when hygienists return to work? The short answer is because new infection control guidelines for post-pandemic hygiene don’t exist. (Please take note of the date this was published/posted) Long answer: Right now, the CDC only has interim guidelines for infection control practices for seeing emergency patients. They...

How the Pandemic Strengthens the Case for Teledentistry and Dental Hygienists

Since the shut down over COVID-19, the dental world as we know it has changed, and teledentistry has become an industry buzz word. Although offices were closed, the need for emergency treatment did not stop. The time to already have a teledentistry platform in place had passed. Unfortunately, many offices fell short of this much-needed tool when they didn’t have...

Emergency Dental Treatment During Pandemic Should Lead to More Patient Education

So many things will be changing before we are able to go back to traditional patient care. Personal protective equipment, sanitizing wipes, aerosol control, and barriers will, of course, be the main priority. Secondly, we also need to define infection control standards for the common areas such as will coffee service be permitted, proximity of reception area seating, and...

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