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...

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride the Key to Preventing Caries in Under-served Populations?

As a fairly new hygienist in private practice in New Jersey, I rarely thought about treatment options for a child that presents with a carious lesion.  I think to myself, “That tooth will need a composite restoration for sure,” and carry on with the treatment for the day. It is easy to be caught in a daily hygiene “bubble.”...

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...

The Magic of Ethics when Patients Decline Fluoride

Once upon a dental chair, a magical hygienist once turned every quick “no” on fluoride into a golden and exuberant “YES!” At least in fairy tales… In reality, patients don’t always say “yes,” and hygienists are often faced with some who are emphatic in their “no” response. So, what magic exists to break through the spell of such a...

Air Polishing Dangers: Case Study of an Injured Dental Patient

A friend recently reached out to me and other dental professionals on Facebook to ask for help regarding a soft tissue injury sustained while his dental hygienist was using an air polisher. We’ll just refer to this fellow as Joe to protect his privacy. Joe has seemingly suffered every complication and long-term side effect from treatment for head-and-neck cancer...

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...

What Your Patients Need to Know about Periodontitis Links to Diabetes & Heart Disease

There are many diseases that are prevalent in the world, and some diseases even more so in the United States. Diabetes and heart disease are diseases that are becoming more and more common to this country's population. However, there is another disease that does not get nearly as much attention that not only affects almost half of all adult...

Hygienist Confession: Yeah, I Leave Stain. Here’s Why.

I am a “self-proclaimed” perfectionist. I need to know I am doing the best job I can while striving to do it better. Sound familiar? A little like most hygienists you know? If you had asked me ten years ago that I would knowingly leave stain on people’s teeth, I would have laughed. Knowing this may have caused me to...

Understanding and Managing Xerostomia

Xerostomia or dry mouth is one of the most undermanaged oral health conditions in medicine and dentistry. This could be due to the lack of diagnosis and the lack of understanding about the oral implications associated with xerostomia. In addition to oral implications, many patients experience a decrease in quality of life that can potentially lead to depression. The...

The Close Relationship between Oral Allergy Syndrome and Seasonal Allergies

Oral Allergy Syndrome
Seasonal allergies can be dreadful. Everyone seems to be affected to some degree. Did you know that certain seasonal allergies can cause oral symptoms as well? Patients may not realize the connection or that there is a possibility that their oral symptoms could be linked to certain seasonal allergies. Studies indicate that 20% to 70% of people who suffer...

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