“Root Cause” Netflix Documentary: Let’s Review the Science

If you haven’t heard, let me be the first to introduce you to a documentary on Netflix called “Root Cause.” The documentary follows an individual’s experience with root canal treatment, and the alleged systemic issues he claims is directly associated with root canal treatment. I decided to watch the documentary for the sole purpose of preparing myself for the...

Pet Oral Health: A Dental Hygienist at a Veterinary Conference

Pet oral health has become a huge topic lately with so many hygienists being animal lovers, as well as oral health experts. We know that each state has different requirements allowing hygienists to complete professional pet prophylaxis, and it all seems quite obscure as to what the exact requirements are. Attending a recent veterinary conference in San Diego, California,...

Toothbrush Etiquette: Could Your Toothbrush Have Fecal Matter On It?

For most of us, brushing our teeth is something we do daily, at least twice. It helps freshen our breath and to brighten our smile, but most importantly, we do it to keep our mouths healthy which unknowingly to most, affects our overall health. Society has been brushing their teeth for thousands of years now. The brush has evolved...

Bridging the Gap between Medicine and Dentistry

The question, “What does my blood pressure have to do with my teeth?” is likely one dental hygienists who take blood pressure have heard. As dental hygienists, we realize the simple answer to this question is a lot; specifically safety while under our treatment and overall health of the patient. Many clinicians have had cases of referring a patient...

Chlorhexidine: An Update

Our goal as hygienists in treating active periodontal disease is not only to remove calculus contributing to bacterial growth and chronic inflammation but also to kill the bacteria which causes periodontal disease progression. Many of us were taught in school to irrigate periodontal pockets with chlorhexidine gluconate following non-surgical periodontal therapy/SRP to ensure bacterial destruction, as chlorhexidine has been...

The Action for Dental Health Act: New Federal Funding for Dental Health Needs

It is no secret our nation has some controversial and serious concerns regarding healthcare, and oral healthcare is no exception. In fact, oral health is often overlooked completely, as leadership struggles to address healthcare issues. That may be changing, though, as a victory for dental health advocates was recently accomplished in the form of the Action for Dental Health...

A Patient’s Story of Tori Removal

NOTE: This story and associated photos are all used with express, written permission from the patient. Who among us has had a patient that taking radiographs is a freakish nightmare!? Is it a gag reflex? Ropey, copious saliva? Fear of radiation? Or, the dreaded tori that leave no room for the sensor, let alone the tongue and food!? Recently, I...

Dental Therapists: A Solution to the Lack of Dental Care Needs Being Met?

Recently, the state of Arizona signed the bill to allow for a mid-level, licensed dental professional, called a “dental therapist,” to provide care in underserved areas.1 A dental therapist is a mid-level, licensed oral care provider who provides preventative and restorative oral care.2 The admittance of such a new oral health provider has caused conflict between state officials and...

Assisted Hygiene Part 3: Are Assistants Prepared for Assisted Hygiene?

Let’s face it: having an unprepared assistant for an assisted hygiene schedule is like trying to build a piece of Ikea furniture with a sloth, like my boyfriend’s crippling anxiety while he attempts to order from Dutch Bros drive-thru, or trying to gather all of your friends before the Uber leaves without you. Is it possible? Yes. Will it...

Oral Lichen Planus: Treatment & Management

Dental hygienists see a range of oral lesions on any given day in clinical practice that takes us back to the pages of our oral pathology books. The ability to identify and differentiate oral lesions is one of the most important skills we learn. Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a very common dermatologic disease which can affect the skin...

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