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...

Smoking Cessation: Deliberate Education Can Steer Smoking Dental Patients towards Quitting

Most people are aware of the systemic diseases caused by smoking. Many, though, are unaware of the multiple oral health implications that are associated with smoking. Some oral health issues associated with smoking may be a precursor to systemic disease. In addition to improving oral health, dental professionals can encourage smoking cessation before the onset of systemic diseases that...

Connective Tissue Disorders: Tailoring Dental Appointments for CTD Patients

A connective tissue disease or disorder is one that affects the elastin and collagen proteins within connective tissues. Connective tissues are responsible for joining different body parts and structures together. Dental hygienists often have to think outside of the box and change their "normal" appointments to care for patients who suffer from a connective tissue disease. To date, more than 200...

Oral Care Products: Recommendations are a Service that Hygienists Provide

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, people have been limited in living their normal lives, including visits with healthcare providers. In some areas, dental visits have been down or put on the back burner due to governmental mandates about dental treatment, patients' fears of catching the virus, and the lack of dental professionals returning to practice. Dental patients are seeking...

Cannabis Legalization Changes How Dental Practices Should Operate

The private act of cannabis use, in all of its forms, is becoming not-so-private with our patients in clinical practice. As we rang in the 2018 New Year, California officially became one among the thirty states to legalize the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana. Since January 1st, it has not taken long for citizens to begin exercising their...

Oral Cancer: Update on Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco for Dental Hygienists

The Oral Cancer Foundation states the average age of a first-time smokeless tobacco user is just 10 years old. As seen with the recent trends in vaping, tobacco companies consistently use flavoring and fun packaging to entice younger customers to buy products that are ultimately addictive and damaging to their health. Smokeless tobacco users absorb two to three times the...

Dental Compliance: Helping Patients Comply Using the Stages of Change Model

Many healthy behavior models and theories are available, but the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), is one that clearly breaks down where a dental patient is in their readiness to change behavior. Part of the Stages of Change model involves assessing someone (in this case, your dental patients). Individual awareness and decision making are...

Dental Microscope Brings Macro Results: Building Value with Oral Pathogen Analysis

A few years ago, our dental office implemented a microscope for the hygiene room. Game changer! I had no idea what a profound impact the instrument would have on dental hygiene treatment. There is much more awareness of the oral-systemic link these days. When discussing the oral-systemic link, we must discuss the oral microbiome. Biofilm is the collection of various...

Oral Malodor: Causes, Effects, and Treatment of the Dental Patient

The nationwide trend toward wearing masks has precipitated a new concern for dental patients − oral malodor, aka bad breath. Oral malodor is an “unpleasant odor” created by gram-negative anaerobic bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSC).”1,2 Malodor roughly affects over 50% of the population, and the causes vary from pathologic to nonpathologic in nature. The dental hygienist plays a...

Oral Probiotics: The Missing Home Care Link to Controlling Oral Bacteria

The routine of proper oral hygiene is widely understood (while not always practiced) by the majority of society. For most, this practice begins with parents upon the eruption of their child's first tooth. Those who have visited a dental office for a routine exam and hygiene care will have been given oral hygiene directives. Those instructions will include the...

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