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...

Panoramic and 3-Dimensional Images: Can they Detect Potential Carotid Artery Disease?

Panoramic (PAN) and three-dimensional radiographs such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) provides invaluable information for clinicians for various reasons. These types of imaging can be utilized daily in many types of dental practices, including general dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, dental imaging centers, and orthodontics. These images provide not only an enormous amount of dental information but also a...

Sinusitis: A Chronic Illness Dental Professionals Can Help Reduce

Dental hygiene is a kaleidoscope of entities that do not always concentrate only on the oral cavity. The entire head and neck region should be the focus of every dental professional. Obviously, it is hard to look at the mouth without actually seeing the components surrounding this area. Daily, dental patients sit in my chair and complain about sinus and...

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...

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...

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...

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