Periodontal Maintenance: Taking the Guesswork Out of the 4910

By definition, the 4910 periodontal maintenance code is defined as the procedure following periodontal therapy and continues at varying intervals determined by the clinical evaluation. It includes removal of bacterial plaque, calculus, from supra and sub-regions, and SITE specific SRP where indicated, as well as polishing the teeth1. My focus this month is not to dissect the code and...

New Parents: Five Tips Dental Hygienists Should Be Sharing

Being a first-time parent of an infant can be so overwhelming. Parents are faced with sleepless nights, unorthodox feeding schedules, consecutive diaper changes, colic, spit-up, and everything else that comes with the new parent territory. The health of a child’s teeth can get lost among the many parental responsibilities. Dental hygienists can play a huge role in helping new...

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...

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...

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...

Why Home Care Should Be Flexible about Recommended Oral Hygiene Regimens

How many times have your impeccable scaling skills and topnotch, by-the-book oral hygiene recommendations and demonstrations resulted in an exhausting six-month recare appointment? The fact that plaque and calculus reinfest some mouths in six to eleven weeks (and sometimes less) sets us up for failure if we over-focus on scaling and under-focus on the cause of the biofilm reinfestation. Scaling...

The Doorway We Use: Dental Exams Provide Valuable Medical Alerts Too

Did you know that the mouth is a window to overall health? Think about that for a second. The anatomical area treated with our expertise is also where many health conditions and diseases begin. By thoroughly examining and paying particular attention to our patients, we can be an intervention when needed. Dental professionals possess the ability to guide patients...

Lip Tattoos: Help Dental Patients Think before They Ink

Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years, and these permanent designs are always personal, serving as status symbols, signs of religious beliefs, amulets, declarations of love, adornments, and even as forms of punishment. People tattoo every part of their bodies, including their inner labial mucosa, gingiva, and hard palate as a form of self-expression. Celebrities such...

What Hygienists Need to Consider when Treating Patients with Malocclusion

Malocclusion is defined as “irregular contact of opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws.”1 Most people with minimal knowledge of dentistry view it as an esthetic problem and not an oral health problem. Not only are there oral health implications, but general health can be affected too. It is estimated that about 65% of the U.S. population has...

Interview: A Hygienist’s Experience with Cetacaine Liquid Topical Anesthetic

Article sponsored by Cetylite. Cherie Wink, RDH was not a paid endorser for this article. Cetacaine Liquid (Benzocaine 14%, Butamben 2%, Tetracaine HCl 2%), the prescription topical anesthetic from Cetylite, is frequently recommended as a pain control option for procedures such as scaling and root planing. Cetacaine can be placed into periodontal pockets to provide 30 to 60 minutes of...

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