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...

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...

Feeling Blue: How Dental Hygienists Say Goodbye to Offices They Love

Quitting your job is never easy, but it’s even more difficult to leave a position that you love. If you’re employed by an office that hasn’t met your expectations, even then the decision to leave can be difficult. However, in that case, it may lead to eventual relief. On the other hand, if you’re part of a dental team with...

Proper Periodontal Planning Prevents Poor Performance

On your first day at a new office, you are probably nervous, relieved, and hopeful − all in one. You are nervous about a new environment, relieved to be done with the job hunt (and to be paid!) and hopeful about the office situation and the future. Starting a new dental hygiene job can sometimes be like buying a new...

Ethical Dilemma: Trying to Encourage Patient to Seek a Second Opinion

Recently, I was in a situation where I thought I needed to be more of an advocate for the patient than agree with the dentist’s treatment plan. This situation tugged at my heart, and I didn’t know how to encourage a second opinion professionally. The 69-year-old patient left the office thinking she needed five crowns. They were diagnosed a year...

Corporate vs. Private Practice Dentistry: The Pros and Cons

General trends in the dental field are leaning towards the increased presence of DSO organizations. A DSO organization is a Dental Support Organization or the corporation of dental offices. Some of the most established DSOs are Heartland Dental, Aspen Dental, and Dental Works. Although the presence of corporate dental offices has increased, private practice offices are still alive and...

What Other Hygienists Do: Be an Advocate Through a Non-profit

Advocacy is a huge part of working with the community and different populations. When I think of advocacy, my first thought was Alicia Murria, RDH, MS(c). She has been a dental hygienist for eight years, is the executive director of a non-profit, and a hygiene faculty member with a dental technology company since 2017. My other articles in this series...

What Other Hygienists Do: A Look at a School-based Dental Program

Switching settings now, we enter the public health sector, which includes the school-based community. According to the American Dental Association, dental public health is defined as "that part of dentistry providing leadership and expertise in population-based dentistry, oral health surveillance, policy development, community-based disease prevention and health promotion, and the maintenance of the dental safety net.”1 I asked Paula Morrison,...

What Other Hygienists Do: A Look at Care Behind Bars

When we first entered dental hygiene school, we were taught that as dental hygienists, we perform many different roles such as clinician, advocate, researcher, educator, and administrative/manager. Some of us work in different types of dental offices such as private practices, general, perio, and pedo to name a few, while others work in the public health sector. Some hygienists have...

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