Dedication to Patient Education

In the world of dentistry, being a hygienist requires you to be the best dental professional you can possibly be to care for your patients to the highest standards. Throughout my career, the things that have encompassed serving my patients to the highest standards have been educating my patients at EVERY appointment, thoroughly reviewing medical history in order to...

Understanding Why Dental Patients Can be Non-Compliant

Providing dental hygiene care can be one of the most rewarding jobs in health care. When patients find a good hygienist, they tend to stick with them and even begin to look forward to their biannual cleanings. As a dental hygienist, you form close bonds with many patients, and you feel like part of the family. Sometimes, however, being a...

The Top 5 Lies that Google Teaches Dental Patients

"If it's on the internet, it must be true." This phrase has jokingly been thrown around probably since the invention of the internet. This modern convenience has allowed so much information to be accessed and easily disseminated; however, it is important to fact-check online content. Unfortunately for dental workers (and health care in general), a quick Google search often...

Periodontal Maintenance: Taking the Guesswork Out of the 4910

By definition, the 4910 periodontal maintenance code is defined as the procedure following periodontal therapy and continues at varying intervals determined by the clinical evaluation. It includes removal of bacterial plaque, calculus, from supra and sub-regions, and SITE specific SRP where indicated, as well as polishing the teeth1. My focus this month is not to dissect the code and...

What Hygienists Should Say When Patients Refuse Dental Radiographs

When a dental hygienist struggles to talk a patient into receiving the basic standard of care, the frustrating experience can leave an indelible on a career. Eyes roll across the country during morning huddles when the hygienist spots a familiar patient name with the words “Overdue for x-rays” on the schedule! Exploring and practicing communication skills through verbal scripting strategies...

A Dental Hygienist’s Refresher on Tuberculosis

One of the most important aspects of an appointment is reviewing health histories with patients.  Every dental hygienist has experienced that moment, where one checked box sends our minds searching for the right questions to determine if it is safe to proceed with treatment for both the patient and ourselves. Tuberculosis tends to be one of those recurring conversation topics...

Organ Transplants: Dental Hygiene Care Should Reflect Extreme Caution

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), 39,719 organ transplants were completed in the United States during 2019, including donations from both living and deceased donors. Even with this large amount, 113,000 people are currently awaiting transplants.1 The American Transplant Foundation states that one person is added to a transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. They also state...

6 Reasons Why Sealants Fail

We have all experienced the child patient who sits down in your chair after having sealants placed six months ago … and they’re gone. Just like the mystery behind the establishment of Stonehenge, it’s the curious case of the missing sealants! Looking back, you were the one who placed them, and the progress notes indicated no issues. You did not...

A Look at Pontic to Natural Tooth Bridges

A pontic to natural tooth bridge is when an anterior tooth is extracted and then used as the replacement tooth. The compromised tooth may be affected by trauma, periodontal disease, root canal failure, root resorption, or other root problems to where it needs to be extracted. If the crown of the extracted tooth is healthy, it can then be...

Dental Hygienists Can Be Productive and Still Be Ethical

Ah, the word “production.” About half of the hygienists reading this are already annoyed, simply at the mention of the word. The other half are intimately familiar, often paid based on their numbers, knowing down to the dollar how much they typically produce per hour. Production is possibly the most misinterpreted word in the entire field of dentistry. For some,...

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