How to Handle Patients with Bad Attitudes

Whether you’re a dental hygienist, dentist, or assistant, dealing with patients who have negative attitudes can be quite frustrating. Raising of voices, a rude comment, or a sarcastic tone of voice from a patient can make what would have otherwise been a pleasant interaction so much more tiresome to deal with. Luckily for you, there are ways to completely turn...

Bridging the Gap between Medicine and Dentistry

The question, “What does my blood pressure have to do with my teeth?” is likely one dental hygienists who take blood pressure have heard. As dental hygienists, we realize the simple answer to this question is a lot; specifically safety while under our treatment and overall health of the patient. Many clinicians have had cases of referring a patient...

Difficult Debbie: Dealing with Frustrating Dental Patients

There is nothing more frustrating than having a patient that makes your job extremely difficult. We all have them and we always will. Let’s face it, working with the public is challenging. In a perfect world, all of our patients can all lie back to our comfort level, open wide like a monkey, and never complain. However, this is...

More than Just Teeth: A Hygienist’s Journey to Patient Satisfaction

Landing my first dental hygiene job was a breeze. I had just graduated from the dental hygiene program and was excitedly looking for a position to jumpstart my career. The third office I walked in to hired me on the spot after I handed them my very green resume. I was beyond perplexed but also extremely ecstatic. I smiled...

Difficult Patients: Not an Endangered Species

You see them all the time, difficult patients. They are definitely not an endangered species. We all have those war stories. Throughout the hygiene program, and the few months I’ve been in practice, I’ve already had my fair share of difficult patients. Even though they can sometimes bring a negative atmosphere to the appointment, we still have time to...

I Don’t Meet Strangers at the Dental Office, I Meet People

A patient once told me that she did not meet strangers, she meets people. Her wise words resonated with me deeply and I utilize her perspective in my daily work and life. When meeting new patients, it is essential to build rapport during their initial visit. I've developed a system of three key factors to remember: Be intentional Be sincere Be...

Understanding Behavioral Theories Leads to Better Oral Health Education

Learning the theoretical frameworks of health promotion and disease prevention is an extremely important and useful tool for dental hygienists providing patient education. For health educators to deliver useful interventions to the public, we first need to be aware of the theories involved to understand how our population relates to behavior changes. According to an article by the National Institutes...

Periodontal Diagnosis: How to Maintain Positive Control of the Appointment

As dental hygienists we’ve all been there, treating a new patient with a periodontal diagnosis.  How do we turn an appointment around after we diagnose a new patient who has been seen by the same dentist regularly for years yet has never heard of periodontal disease?  It’s an everyday struggle for a dental hygienist to gain control of the...

A Practical Look at Silver Diamine Fluoride

silver diamine fluoride
As a practicing dental hygienist, I know every day I will fail to perfectly communicate the importance of diligent daily oral health care to a patient. I would like to believe that every single instance where a patient presents with gingivitis or incipient decay, I would be able to impress upon them the need to clean interdentally once, brush...

Tips for When Patients Question or Refuse Radiographs

Note: This is Part 1 of Debbi Viger's series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs All of us are special in some way and require adjustments to our treatment and our daily life. Let’s just embrace that concept for a moment, take a deep breath and strive to create excellence for ourselves and our patients. So often we read in blogs...

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