Behcet’s Disease: What Dental Hygienists Should Know & Look For

Behcet’s disease is an autoimmune disorder which attacks the blood vessels and creates inflammation. “It is known as a multisystem inflammatory disorder characterized by ulcers affecting the mouth and genitals, various skin lesions, and abnormalities affecting the eyes.3” Behcet's disease is most commonly found in Japan, China, Turkey, and Iran, also known as the “Old Silk Route;” it is...

How to Build Relationships with Your Patients

In any healthcare setting, you are interacting with different types of people. Clinically, as dental professionals, you are working with a community of many different personality types. Because of a dental hygienist's one-on-one interaction with patients, it is crucial to make a connection. Making professional relationships with patients will only improve the overall care and treatment experience. Having relationships with...

A Life Behind Bars or a Future You Can See: Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Dear dental hygienists, I know it’s tough to perform a prophylaxis around braces. You know how hard it is for the patient to maintain cleanliness, living a dental life behind “bars.” We know for a fact that dentistry is advancing especially when clear aligners are available as an option for patients. Although this is not for us to decide...

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...

Dedication to Patient Education

In the world of dentistry, being a hygienist requires you to be the best dental professional you can possibly be to care for your patients to the highest standards. Throughout my career, the things that have encompassed serving my patients to the highest standards have been educating my patients at EVERY appointment, thoroughly reviewing medical history in order to...

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...

Botox Isn’t Just for Wrinkles Anymore: A Hygienist’s Experience with TMJ Treatment

Do you clench or grind your teeth? Wake up with headaches or stiff, tight muscles in your face? So many people are affected by the daily stress of life which can lead to clenching and grinding. Improper occlusion or airway issues can lead to bruxism and TMJ issues. Too much caffeine or too much gum chewing can lead to...

5 Things to Consider Before Recommending a Toothbrush to Patients

How much thought do you put into your patients’ home care products? I think most hygienists do put effort into recommending products. Maybe it is because they have seen those products work for patients in the past. However, some are very limited in their recommendations because the practice will only purchase certain products; usually, less expensive products that are...

Children’s Oral Health Month: Emphasis on Children’s Dental Care

February is designated Children’s Oral Health Month in the dental community. Children’s Oral Health Month places emphasis on educating parents and children on the importance of children’s oral health. As part of the celebration, dental professionals and dental supply companies focus on oral health care prevention and preparation for the challenges facing children’s oral health. Caries is the most preventable...

How Dental Hygienists Make Patients Feel Welcome

Not too long ago, a patient showed up with a crocheted blanket for one of our hygienists who was expecting a baby soon. I witnessed two women, one in her childbearing years and one with grown children and grandchildren, a patient and a hygienist, who had built a special relationship. I believe a bond was formed over patient care...

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