Tips for When Patients Question or Refuse Radiographs

Note: This is Part 1 of Debbi Viger's series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs All of us are special in some way and require adjustments to our treatment and our daily life. Let’s just embrace that concept for a moment, take a deep breath and strive to create excellence for ourselves and our patients. So often we read in blogs...

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...

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...

To Upsell or Not, That is The Question

I have been a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist since 1987.  I cannot believe the math, but yes, 31 years! I have witnessed a lot of change over those decades. From optional ultrasonic usage for the extreme calculus “difficult prophy” cases versus daily ultrasonic/piezo usage as a standard of care, fluoride trays instead of fluoride varnish application, monster-sized clinical chairs...

How Dental Hygienists Can Help Patients with Dental Phobias

How many times a week do you hear the phrases, “I hate the dentist, I always dread coming here, I would rather be somewhere else,” or some other phrase indicating the patient highly dislikes being at the dental office, which includes your operatory? When hearing these phrases, we can either become offended at the statement, and take it personally,...

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...

Iron-Deficiency Anemia: What Dental Hygienists Need to Know

Every cell in the human body contains iron. Yet, there are only about 4 grams (less than a teaspoon) present in the entire body. Iron’s main role is to transport oxygen throughout the body, and it’s a key player in energy metabolism.2 While liver (with or without onions) may remain the poster-child for iron, other foods such as meats, egg...

How to Ensure Patients Actually Use Recommended Oral Health Devices

Many dental hygienists probably give unsolicited advice to random strangers in the oral health aisle of the local superstore. Yes, you know who you are! Why give advice to only random strangers, though? You should be encouraging your own patients to purchase the devices, get them out of the box, and plug them in! Recently, I was having a conversation...

The Importance of Screening Pediatric Patients for Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less...

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...

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