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...

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...

The First Line of Defense Against Oral Cancer

Truth be told, cancer in its many forms has touched the lives of almost every single person I know. No one is safe from a cancer diagnosis. Countless children have been left without their parents, and countless parents have been left without answers. So many of us that have lost someone to cancer walk the desolate halls of grief;...

A Simple “Look” by a Dental Hygienist Could Save a Life

As dental professionals, we are super busy; sometimes running behind, yet, trying to be as thorough as we can, while giving the best care possible to our patients. As part of our exam, we should do a once-over, looking at the patient's skin of their head and neck, as we start to do the oral cancer screening. While this...

Bridging the Gap Between Medical and Dental Health of Our Diabetic Patients

The bridge between medical and dental health is a hot topic and one we as dental hygienists cannot ignore! A lot is being done to try to build this bridge and shorten this gap, particularly with one of the most well-known and direct oral-systemic connections – diabetes and oral health. Our hygiene profession and the care we provide our...

The Great Fluoride Debate: Patients Who Refuse Fluoride

Note: This is Part 4 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. Every patient who sits in our chair has preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong. Some patients feel that chemicals are evil, toothpaste is potentially life-threatening, and a fluoride treatment is not...

Myofunctional Therapy: Expanding Dental Intervention

It seems that in the past, the main reason to refer a patient to a therapist was for a tongue thrust. We now have a wide variety of symptoms we need to be looking for which can be treated by a Myofunctional Therapist that can greatly improve our patients’ quality of life. Things such as malocclusion, long-term thumb sucking,...

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...

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