To Upsell or Not, That is The Question

I have been a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist since 1987.  I cannot believe the math, but yes, 31 years! I have witnessed a lot of change over those decades. From optional ultrasonic usage for the extreme calculus “difficult prophy” cases versus daily ultrasonic/piezo usage as a standard of care, fluoride trays instead of fluoride varnish application, monster-sized clinical chairs...

Hygienist Confession: Yeah, I Leave Stain. Here’s Why.

I am a “self-proclaimed” perfectionist. I need to know I am doing the best job I can while striving to do it better. Sound familiar? A little like most hygienists you know? If you had asked me ten years ago that I would knowingly leave stain on people’s teeth, I would have laughed. Knowing this may have caused me to...

How to Create a Stress-Free Appointment for Patients by Utilizing Desensitization

We all have those patients who simply hate what it is that we do. Whether it’s updating health history, laying back in the chair, probing, too much water, bad flavors, or scaling their teeth, they hate it all. Desensitization is the process used to overcome each of the objections to create an appointment free of stress and which can...

Why You Should Discuss Nutrition with Patients to Increase Homecare

In our profession, there are various opportunities to discuss overall health and well-being with our patients. While reviewing a patient’s health history, we can quickly pick up on areas we may want to highlight or discuss in further detail with the patient. One of these areas frequently visited is nutrition. The definition of nutrition is, “The process of providing or...

A Dental Hygienists’ Refresher on Periodontal Probing

Dental hygienists learn early on that the periodontal probe is essentially our greatest tool in the assessment of periodontal health. Periodontal probing creates a record of health or disease over time that dental hygienists can reference to, evaluate healing, or determine the possible need to implement a more aggressive treatment plan. Including dental radiographs, a complete periodontal evaluation allows...

How to Assist Patients who Prefer an Alternative Approach to Dental Care

Worldwide access to evidence-based clinical decision making must coexist with respect for individual decision making shaped by local culture and circumstances. This is the balance between globalizing the evidence and localizing the decisions that will improve delivery of healthcare worldwide. -John Eisenberg Abstract: Purpose: This literature review demonstrates the importance for medical professionals to broaden their knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine...

How Dental Hygienists Make Patients Feel Welcome

Not too long ago, a patient showed up with a crocheted blanket for one of our hygienists who was expecting a baby soon. I witnessed two women, one in her childbearing years and one with grown children and grandchildren, a patient and a hygienist, who had built a special relationship. I believe a bond was formed over patient care...

Forming Relationships: The Single Most Important Thing One Can Do in a Lifetime

Recently, my house was crazy; my graduation, a full-time faculty interview for a position in dental hygiene education, my son’s high school graduation, all in the midst of us moving from our house of ten years. Crazy, may not even touch it! Nevertheless, I was present in all aspects of each event, despite the chaos surrounding us. Being present manifested...

Dental Sealants: Saving Teeth since the 1960s

Tooth decay is no stranger to the dental professional. In fact, it isn’t a stranger to most! According to a study done by the CDC, 1 out of every five children aged 5-11 and 1 of 7 adolescents aged 12-19 have dental decay. However, children are not the only ones who suffer from dental decay. According to the CDC,...

The Very Special Education Process of Medical History Disclosure

Note: This is Part 5 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here. Each of us experiences the patient that just disagrees with everything. The challenge, and often most rewarding portion of our appointment, is getting to yes. Often it starts in the reception area, was the wait...

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