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...

Pediatric Dental Hygiene: How Can You Work on Kids?!

As a pediatric dental hygienist, I am often asked “How can you work on kids?” and “WHY do you work in pediatrics?!” First and foremost, I love kids. I always have. When I was a little girl, I just wanted to be a mommy. Then I figured out that I needed to be able to support said children. Since...

A Dental Hygienists’ Refresher on Periodontal Probing

Dental hygienists learn early on that the periodontal probe is essentially our greatest tool in the assessment of periodontal health. Periodontal probing creates a record of health or disease over time that dental hygienists can reference to, evaluate healing, or determine the possible need to implement a more aggressive treatment plan. Including dental radiographs, a complete periodontal evaluation allows...

The Oral Implications of Organ Donation

Marisa’s Story In the blink of an eye, your life can change. On August 5th, the day after my husband David’s 29th birthday, as a recovery worker/tow truck operator, he was called out at 4:30 am to the interstate to recover a rolled over vehicle. While David was on the scene, he was struck by a tractor-trailer. He sustained a...

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...

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...

Can You Identify the Signs of Diabetes, Hormone Disturbances, or Cancer?

As dental hygienists, we have the opportunity to spend an estimated 45 to 60 minutes with our patients at each appointment. Performing intraoral and extraoral examinations offers us the ability to be dental healthcare detectives; we can sometimes identify patient’s potential health issues before the patients recognize them themselves. I can remember an occasion when a patient asked me about...

Not Just Another Set of Teeth: Building Patient Rapport

Building rapport is a term often used in a dental office. It can refer to relationships between other offices, coworkers, or most importantly our patients. To put it simply, rapport is a way of saying two people understand each other and the lines of communication are open.  When it comes to building patient rapport there will never be a...

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...

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...

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