What Your Patients Need to Know about Periodontitis Links to Diabetes & Heart Disease

There are many diseases that are prevalent in the world, and some diseases even more so in the United States. Diabetes and heart disease are diseases that are becoming more and more common to this country's population. However, there is another disease that does not get nearly as much attention that not only affects almost half of all adult...

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...

Implant Maintenance: An Overview

The number of implants placed by dentists and dental specialists is increasing based on a predictable outcome of success. A comprehensive treatment plan includes advising the patient of the risk of failure based on smoking, history of radiotherapy, systemic health issues, and local bone quality and quantity. Peri-implant disease is a combination of poor oral hygiene, placement of a...

The Magic of Ethics when Patients Decline Fluoride

Once upon a dental chair, a magical hygienist once turned every quick “no” on fluoride into a golden and exuberant “YES!” At least in fairy tales… In reality, patients don’t always say “yes,” and hygienists are often faced with some who are emphatic in their “no” response. So, what magic exists to break through the spell of such a...

Treating Bilingual Patients in Dental and Healthcare Settings

Personally, growing up bilingual and attending school in educational spaces that emphasized English-only curriculum was challenging. Language is more than just a group of words necessary to express one’s thoughts and feelings. Language is the essence of one’s personal identity, the very fabric that makes each of us who we are. I have spent many years researching language and...

Networking to Achieve Overall Health for Patients

Recently, at my annual well visit with my primary care physician, after the usual weight and blood pressure check, I was asked when I last had my eyes checked, when I last saw a dermatologist, when I last had a mammogram and so on. The one thing that was missing from these interview questions was when was my last...

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...

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...

A Practical Look at Silver Diamine Fluoride

silver diamine fluoride
As a practicing dental hygienist, I know every day I will fail to perfectly communicate the importance of diligent daily oral health care to a patient. I would like to believe that every single instance where a patient presents with gingivitis or incipient decay, I would be able to impress upon them the need to clean interdentally once, brush...

Drug Addiction: The Importance of Patient Disclosure before Dental Treatment

Working for a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is rewarding, yet the variety of patients I serve can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Patients I see regularly range from drug and alcohol addicts, special needs, juvenile delinquents, patients who are starting over after being in prison, AIDS/HIV, and more. Each patient is unique and has a set of health...

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