The Link between Nitrous Oxide Uptake and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Dentistry as a whole can often bring about anxiety and stress for many patients. This anxiety does not just occur when restorative work needs to be addressed, but for many, the idea of a “routine cleaning,” as well as any kind of periodontal maintenance treatment, can induce high anxiety and stress. Some people will avoid scheduling dental procedures until...

The CBCT View: Images Can Greatly Impact Dental Hygiene Education

When cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is discussed, do you immediately think of dental implant placement, third molar extractions, or sinus lifts? More and more general dentistry and periodontal practices are investing in CT imaging equipment. The value of the CBCT image cannot be underestimated in terms of application to the daily practice of dental hygienists. Let’s take a look...

The Dental Hygiene Revolution: Reflect, Research, Take Action vs. Deflect, Accept, Do Nothing

We reflect, research, and take action on a daily basis in our clinical dental hygiene operatories. Sometimes the opposite is true of us as well; we deflect, accept, and do nothing. The latter is by far the easier route, but perhaps the most frustrating and least fulfilling. What I would like to focus on is the former, also known...

How to Make a Difference with Refugee Dental Care

The United States, throughout history, has been a refuge for those fleeing countries where the political climate or other circumstances has made living there unsafe. Although the United States’ current political climate is such that we are unsure just how many refugees will continue to be welcomed into our country, as dental professionals we must be aware of the...

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...

What Hygienists Should Say When Patients Refuse Dental Radiographs

When a dental hygienist struggles to talk a patient into receiving the basic standard of care, the frustrating experience can leave an indelible on a career. Eyes roll across the country during morning huddles when the hygienist spots a familiar patient name with the words “Overdue for x-rays” on the schedule! Exploring and practicing communication skills through verbal scripting strategies...

6 Ways to Instill Bravery: Caring for Patients with Dental Anxiety

Have you ever put a patient back in the chair, and they blurt out, "I really hate going to the dentist?" Well, it's a good thing that this hygienist is not a dentist, eh? We all have our own forms of anxiety. If you have ever entered a dental office, which I assume you have, you are aware of dental...

True Confession of a Less Than Ideal Bitewing

What’s your hygiene moment when you realize you have had an epic fail? Hopefully, none of you will ever have that experience, but I did, and I am on a mission to never let it happen again. Here’s the scenario, the patient presents for routine care. It’s a great appointment - everything status quo; health history reviewed, oral cancer...

Baby Teeth Matter: Embrace the Opportunity to Introduce Kids to Dentistry

Do you remember your first dental visit? I do not; I was apparently too young to have any memory of that momentous occasion. However, thanks to my chosen profession, I am a part of many kiddos’ first dental visit! The American Dental Association recommends the first dental visit by age 12 months or six months after the appearance of the...

3D Imaging: Benefits for Dental Hygienists in Perio, Endo, and Ortho

The potential for three-dimensional imaging in dentistry is widespread. Hygienists use two-dimensional images on a daily basis, but they do not provide the amount of detail that the three-dimensional counterpart does. According to one source, “In two-dimensional imaging, evaluation of bone craters, lamina dura, and periodontal bone level is limited by projection geometry and superpositions of adjacent anatomical structures.” Two-dimensional...

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