Do Dental Implants Really Look Like Teeth? Significance of Restorative Design in Plaque Accumulation

The restorations that are supported by dental implants are designed to resemble a natural dentition, but do dental implants really look like teeth? If you examine the anatomy and, in some cases, the positioning of an implant in comparison to how teeth are in the jaw, there can be major differences in respect to diameter, shape, size, contour, and...

Dentures: How Hygienists Can Educate the Insistent Patient about Edentulism

Dentures. Sometimes we stumble across the patient who is insistent about full mouth extractions and upper and lower dentures. Dental professionals realize the importance of first doing the obvious, gathering all of the facts and data about the patient, which includes complete dental records and (most critical) good listening skills. Why are these patients adamant about dentures? The reasons patients...

Dental Implants: Smoking Effects on Dental Implants

Dental implant placement has gained popularity over the years as an effective, long-term tooth replacement option. Under the right conditions, dental implants have a success rate of 98%.1 However, dental implants have some drawbacks, such as implant failure due to smoking. Thus, a thorough patient screening is important prior to dental implant treatment planning. A dental implant is a screw-like...

You Can’t Want It for Them: Raising Expectations of Oral Health

I can still see the faces of the patients who stumped me the most. They are people who I thought were going to be my biggest success stories but weren’t. They presented with halitosis, visible staining and calculus, dark red, inflamed gingiva, and were in just the initial stages of periodontal disease. They were otherwise healthy, successful people, and...

Fibrotic Gingiva: Seeing Healthy Tissue that is Actually Diseased

They come in waves: the chronic latecomers, the anti-fluoride activists, and the just-plain-strange ones. I’m talking about patients, of course. There is another group that, if you’re not careful, you may miss altogether. And folks, this is a group you don’t want to miss. Let’s call them “the ones with the sneaky tartar.” As hygienists, what is the one thing...

Radiology Update: Evolving Standards for Pregnancy, Shielding, and Frequency

The Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy was the first radiology scientific journal. First published in May 1896, just six months after the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen, Sydney Rowland wrote in the first editorial: “The object of this publication is to put on record in permanent form some of the most striking applications of the New Photography to the...

Simple Tips for Improving the Dental Patient Experience

Let’s face it, a dental visit for some patients can be rather stress-inducing. For the fearful and anxious patients, a dental appointment is not their idea of a great way to spend an afternoon. Even the seasoned dental patient who doesn’t have any anxiety or fear issues may not be totally thrilled about spending time in the dental operatory. In...

The Coronavirus Threat: How Should Dental Offices Be Prepared?

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. Declared a “public health emergency of international concern” on...

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...

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