Post Coronavirus: The Alpha and Omega of a Successful Dental Hygiene Appointment

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. This article's intent is how to build trust with...

Simple Tips for Improving the Dental Patient Experience

Let’s face it, a dental visit for some patients can be rather stress-inducing. For the fearful and anxious patients, a dental appointment is not their idea of a great way to spend an afternoon. Even the seasoned dental patient who doesn’t have any anxiety or fear issues may not be totally thrilled about spending time in the dental operatory. In...

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...

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...

Differentiating Between Sulfa and Sulfite Allergies in the Dental Setting

Sulfa allergies and sulfite allergies are sometimes confused during conversations with dental patients. The names are very similar, and patients can be uncertain about which allergy they experience. This misperception has the potential to result in an overcautious approach when choosing the proper dental anesthetic for patients, as well as possibly an incorrect antibiotic regimen. Conversing with the patient...

Patient Relationships: Empathy Fosters Trust and Treatment Acceptance

Empathy: A quality of interpersonal effectiveness that involves sharing others’ feelings; an ability to feel or perceive things from others’ points of view.1 Given the information that empathetic physicians have greater patient satisfaction,2 this article explores the benefits from the display of empathy by dental practitioners. The practice of thinking and feeling empathy affects provider/patient relationships. An empathetic practitioner can...

How Hygienists Can Counter Unsupervised Ortho & Clip-On Veneers

Unfortunately, this has become an era of marketing schemes, and we can all agree that dental hygienists are not their demographic targets. New cosmetic and teeth-straightening products have emerged with the consumer market in mind. The products are becoming so accessible that it may even be the next drug-store impulse buy. Patients may be picking up some clear aligners...

You Can’t Want It for Them: Raising Expectations of Oral Health

I can still see the faces of the patients who stumped me the most. They are people who I thought were going to be my biggest success stories but weren’t. They presented with halitosis, visible staining and calculus, dark red, inflamed gingiva, and were in just the initial stages of periodontal disease. They were otherwise healthy, successful people, and...

Oral Piercing, Tattooing: RDHs Can Help Inform Patients about Body Modifications

Self-expression comes in many forms, including body modifications such as tattoos and piercings. Intraoral or perioral piercings and tattoos are more popular than ever. The awareness of how these changes may affect oral health, however, is minimal. Dental hygienists can help answer patient questions concerning oral modifications, provide information about associated risks, and educate on after-care for the best...

Preeclampsia and Periodontal Disease: What Hygienists Need to Know

“Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby,” the Preeclampsia Foundation states, “Preeclampsia affects at least 5-8% of all pregnancies and is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and usually the presence of protein in the urine.” The condition usually occurs after 20...

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