OraVerse®: How to Help Dental Patients Rebound from ‘Numb Feeling’ Faster

Disclosure: This article is sponsored content from Septodont as part of our sponsored partner program. During my early years in dentistry, I was a dental assistant before going to dental hygiene school. I have a distinct memory that is seared into my brain of a child around five years old who had restorative work completed only to return the next day with...

D4346: The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Gingivitis Treatment

In 2017, the American Dental Association developed a new code for hygiene care: D4346, or scaling in the presence of generalized moderate or severe inflammation – full mouth after oral evaluation. This is a form of treatment that dentists and hygienists worked for years to create. However, even five years later, most dental offices are not utilizing this code. Many...

Halitosis: How Dental Professionals Can Sniff Their Way to the Source

Halitosis is a malodor that is expelled from the mouth. While everyone wakes in the morning with a less than desirable mouth aroma, some dental patients actually battle chronic bad breath on a daily basis. One in four people experience bad breath, and some studies have reported as high as 50% of the adult population suffers from halitosis.1,2 In fact,...

If the Patient Won’t Change, Perhaps the Practitioner Should

We've all heard the aphorism, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." For dental professionals, the aphorism could be, "You can teach a patient to floss (clean interdentally), but you can't make him or her do it." Or perhaps, "You can teach a patient how to brush, but that doesn't mean he or...

Patient Education: Why Dental Hygienists Should Stop Being Minimizers

Several years ago, it occurred to me that I was a minimizer. I heard myself say things to my patients, such as, “You have a little bit of bleeding. I am just going to clean your teeth, and you might want to think about getting that cavity treated.” These minimal instructions and suggestions began to stand out when I transitioned...

Stannous vs. Sodium Fluoride: When Dental Professionals Should Customize Treatment

Over the years, the most common reason to use an active ingredient such as fluoride in toothpaste or oral rinses was to reduce dental decay. Dental professionals frequently hear patients ask, “What can I do to avoid developing cavities?” The most common active ingredient for this problem has been sodium fluoride, which is effective in the reduction of dental...

Why Hygienists Should Take the Blood Pressure of EVERY Patient

Let me ask you a question: how many of you take blood pressure readings on your patients before beginning treatment? For those of you who take blood pressure readings on your patients, bravo to you! You have my respect; you may now skip the rest of this article, pass Go, and collect $200. But for those of you who...

The Importance of Taking Blood Pressure Readings of Every Hygiene Patient

My dental hygiene program director once said, "We're more than just pickers and flickers." The program instructors really strived to make sure we understood full-body health and how our body's systems and oral health are interconnected. We were taught to always take blood pressure before our clinic appointments. When I started my first dental hygiene job right out of school...

6 Things You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Today’s society, especially in the U.S., is inundated with sugary liquids posing as healthy or energizing drinks. Many parents pack their children’s lunch boxes with fermentable carbohydrates such as chips and crackers, and sugary liquids such as juice boxes because they are easily accessible, and are non-perishable. Chewable vitamins and chewable sugary snacks that stick in occlusal surfaces are...

The Priority of OHI Despite Demands of Schedule: Make Time for Patient Education

Whether you recently graduated from dental hygiene school or you have been practicing for 25 years, you may find yourself in survival mode at work from time to time. Many demands are placed on our precious minutes with our patients. Daily practice of dental hygiene may include any or all of the following: radiographs, head and neck exams, periodontal...

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