The Coronavirus Threat: How Should Dental Offices Be Prepared?

Declared a “public health emergency of international concern” on February 11, by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus that presented itself in Wuhan, China, is now known as COVID-19.1 In COVID-19, the “CO” stands for corona, the “VI” for virus, and “D” for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.” As the virus...

3D Imaging: Benefits for Dental Hygienists in Perio, Endo, and Ortho

The potential for three-dimensional imaging in dentistry is widespread. Hygienists use two-dimensional images on a daily basis, but they do not provide the amount of detail that the three-dimensional counterpart does. According to one source, “In two-dimensional imaging, evaluation of bone craters, lamina dura, and periodontal bone level is limited by projection geometry and superpositions of adjacent anatomical structures.” Two-dimensional...

The RDH Detective: Discovering Sleep Disordered Breathing in Adults

This is an exciting time to be a dental health professional. As our understanding of the multiple links between the mouth and the body has increased, our roles have expanded to include comprehensive care of the patient’s whole health. One aspect of whole health care that can have an enormous life-changing and lifesaving effect is to screen for sleep-disordered...

5 Reasons Dental Patients May Suffer from Halitosis

Halitosis is a concern for many dental patients. As a matter of fact, about 50% of the U.S. population suffers from halitosis. Halitosis can be put into two different categories − genuine halitosis or delusional halitosis.1 This article explores some causes of extraoral halitosis. But, first, a refresher on how halitosis is usually categorized is offered. Delusional halitosis is further categorized...

Medical Updates: Dig To Find What the Dental Patient Isn’t Saying

When asking patients about their medical health updates, it’s crucial to listen for the answers and probe for greater depth of response. We all have dental patients who casually report no changes. It is best to read the medications from the previous history and ask about each medication. Validate the accuracy of each medication and any potential new prescriptions,...

Psychoneuroimmunology: Insights Can Lead to a Better Understanding of Dental Patients

Established research demonstrates a connection between the mind and the body. Within medicine, the mind and the body connection is not fully accepted by all, but much of its evidence is respected and considered in many aspects. The contributions of many intellectual and innovative researchers have proved evidence of the connection between the two. The mind and the body connection...

Why Early Orthodontic Treatment May Be a Mistake and Not Necessary

Editor's Note: This article is one person's experience and is anecdotal. It should not be taken as orthodontic advice. Please consult an orthodontist for treatment needs based on individual circumstances. As a dental hygienist, we are often the first to see a child and recognize that the patient may have an orthodontic problem. Assessment at a young age can indicate...

A Refresher to Caries Risk Management Strategies

Dental caries is defined as a “biofilm-mediated, sugar-driven, multifactorial, dynamic disease that results in the phasic demineralization and remineralization of dental hard tissues.”1 It is a progressive and chronic process enabled by the continuous provision of a sugar source, often combined with substandard oral hygiene habits, as well as other factors such as the mineral composition of the saliva...

The RDH Dental Detective: Questions to Discover Childhood Sleep Disordered Breathing

As our understanding of the multiple links between the mouth and the body has increased, our roles have expanded to include care of the patient’s whole health. One aspect of whole health care that can have an enormous life-changing and life-saving effect is to screen for sleep-disordered breathing. By discovering disordered sleep breathing, the dental professional can make a difference...

Mental Nerve Block: A Welcomed Alternative in Mandibular Anesthesia

Effective anesthesia does not have to be a source of anxiety for patients or practitioners. Most of us dread the mandibular inferior alveolar nerve block (MIANB) and will try anything to avoid giving this injection. I am one of those practitioners who have explored other options to achieve pain-free anesthesia and pain-free periodontal treatment. When I was learning to give...

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