How the Dental Hygiene Profession has Changed During My 22 Year Career

As a 22-year seasoned clinician in the dental hygiene community, I have witnessed profound changes in dental practice and job opportunities and developed a strong rapport with dental patients and dental staff. My role as a dental hygienist has given me both dental knowledge and a personal understanding of patients' needs. Timeline 2000 ─ My career started at a general dental...

“Wanted: Rock Star Dental Hygienist!” Red Flag or Unicorn Office?

The crowd goes wild, and the chanting begins; the stadium hums with electric anticipation of the show of their lives about to take them to another world for a few hours of their hum-drum day-to-day. Smoke billows from the stage and vintage guitars can be heard tuning one last time before the lead singer heroically appears and belts out...

Dental Hygienists’ Prayers: Six Wishes Muttered during the Hectic Workday

Steady is a good word for describing the dental hygiene profession. If you are working in a clinic, most days may feel the same. A list of patients awaits you, requiring gingival or periodontal debridement either in the form of prophy, periodontal maintenance, scaling in the presence of inflammation, or non-surgical periodontal therapy/SRP. The instruments used each day are...

10 Tips for Improving Your Operatory to Make Your Life Easier

There are many needed materials and supplies involved in dental hygiene, and most of them lie within our operatories. You have oral hygiene/education instruction supplies, homecare products, sealant materials, set-ups, and other resources to name just a few. With having busy patient schedules all day, sometimes our drawers, countertops, and cabinets can become a disaster zone. Here are some...

Dental Patients Say the Craziest Things

As hygienists, we see all kinds of patients and hear many stories from them. We know their life stories and their families. We are people-oriented which is the thing I love the most about dental hygiene.  However, sometimes our patients say or do things that we aren’t expecting, and we have to come up with a quick, yet professional,...

How Clinical Calibration Helps Clarify Dental Treatments

Differences that exist among clinicians can be problematic within a dental office, including clinic workflow, systems, dental coding, and philosophies. A dental practice is rarely aware of this problem, and it’s even rarer to find an office that addresses these differences in its entirety. The bottom line is quite simple. What do we really feel is best for our patients?...

10 Tips for Dental Hygienists to Get through a Long Work Day

Let’s face it, clinical hygiene is hard on your body, your brain, and sometimes your psyche. A patient who has some limitations and is unable to lie back or turn in the direction we need them to for proper ergonomics causes dental hygienists to bend, contort, and twist bodies in ways we should not just to accomplish our job. Dental...

The Demands of the Job: 3 Health Challenges Dental Hygienists Face

Many people, including our patients, do not realize the demands of the dental hygiene profession, especially physically. I was not aware of the aches and pains before either. Even in school, I was more focused on completing the program. In dental hygiene school, we did not see half as many patients in comparison to the real world. Not all “aches...

12 Ways to Improve the Professionalism of Your Dental Office

I feel I need to begin this article with a vent. Allow me to share a recent experience to demonstrate how office behavior can be perceived from a patient’s point of view. I recently went to a doctor’s office for a yearly checkup. When I approached the desk to sign in, there was no one there to greet me....

Keeping the Schedule Filled: Battling the Saga of Appointment No Shows

I think since the dawn of civilization, there has been a problem in dental offices that has yet to be solved. Come on! You know what I’m talking about! Keeping the dental hygiene schedules full and productive! You can seemingly have the perfect day scheduled when you begin the day fresh-faced at 8 a.m. But, by 9 o’clock, you have...

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