Deafening Truth: Without Ear Protection, Hearing Loss Plagues Dental Professionals

Dental professionals have always been masters of personal protection equipment, and we have lately donned more PPE than ever before. Despite being covered from head to toe in gowns, gloves, masks, head coverings, and loupes, many still fail to equip themselves with a vital piece of PPE – earplugs. When noise levels are taken into consideration, it is often in...

Should Dental Hygienists be Independent Contractors or Employees?

At the end of every year, dental hygiene groups and forums are blowing up with questions concerning the 1099 they received from a dentist they worked for at some point that year. Most of these questions are regarding dentists that hired the hygienist on a temporary basis. Many of the responses focus on the legality of being paid with...

Online Dental Reviews: How to Turn a Negative into a Positive

In today’s online society, digital media has repeatedly demonstrated its power to influence, and dental professionals have been the recipients of the dreaded and unexpected negative review. Hopefully, your dental practice screens and monitors their online reviews on a daily basis. How you react to a negative review reflects the character and integrity of the office as a whole. Take...

Teamwork: Open Communication with Dentist Leads to Happier Dental Patients

Many individuals comprise a dental team in an office, and the professional relationship between the dental hygienist and the dentist – frequently, the employer – should be nurtured. Both dental professionals are pieces of the entire puzzle of a patient's care. It is crucial to understand what each piece does and recommends to patients, so there will be consistency...

Dental Workplace Stress: How to Support Each Other During Tough Times

Stress brings out the best and worst in people, and it needs to be addressed in a careful but meaningful way. We need to be there for one another and come together like we never have. Times are definitely tough, and everyone seems to be handling it at their own pace and in their own way. Let's discuss the nuances...

How Hygienists can Bridge Cultural Differences during Appointments

As dental hygienists, we have been taught cultural competence, and respect for diversity on a multitude of levels are important core values to being a competent dental hygienist. Cultural competence means that we are aware of and understand the differences and similarities that exist between different racial and ethnic groups, and we not judgmental about the differences. An awareness of...

8 Reasons to Stop Being a Clinical Dental Hygienist

Gasp. You mean some people become hygienists, and they don’t like it? There. I said it. Because no one seems to want to talk about it. Sometimes we just need some time away from the polish, scale, floss, educate, schedule, wipe, repeat. A break. A vacation. And, sometimes it’s something more. And, that’s scary! Believe it or not, some people go to school to...

Assisted Hygiene: Patricia Farmer, RDH, Offers Guidance on Increasing Production

Want to know how one amazingly energetic dental hygienist can produce $42,000 to $50,000 a month? Using time management and performing every task allowed under her state guidelines, this hygienist has created a superb daily flow. Assisted hygiene changed the trajectory of her career. Patty Farmer, RDH, graduated from Prairie State College in 2002. Her LinkedIn account reveals a vast...

How Dental Hygienists Can Make a Difference with Native American Populations

The 574 Native American and Alaska Native tribes in the United States own 325 reservations and trust lands.1 Seven of them exist within my home state of Montana,2 and 6.7% of Montana’s population consists of Native Americans or Alaska Natives, which equates to roughly 71,608 native civilians.3 Although Natives make up a small portion of the population in the...

Working Through Grief: My Story of Loss and Survival

I want to talk about a subject nearly untouched in the dental world, grief. I went into dentistry because I feared I would have been too emotional to handle nursing. I felt dentistry was a safer choice. I could still help and serve others but without the messy emotions associated with losing patients. Right? I decided a long time ago...

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