Difficult Debbie: Dealing with Frustrating Dental Patients

There is nothing more frustrating than having a patient that makes your job extremely difficult. We all have them and we always will. Let’s face it, working with the public is challenging. In a perfect world, all of our patients can all lie back to our comfort level, open wide like a monkey, and never complain. However, this is...

Interview: A Hygienist’s Experience with Cetacaine Liquid Topical Anesthetic

Article sponsored by Cetylite. Cherie Wink, RDH was not a paid endorser for this article. Cetacaine Liquid (Benzocaine 14%, Butamben 2%, Tetracaine HCl 2%), the prescription topical anesthetic from Cetylite, is frequently recommended as a pain control option for procedures such as scaling and root planing. Cetacaine can be placed into periodontal pockets to provide 30 to 60 minutes of...

Smoking Risks Higher in Women: The Dental Hygienist’s Role

It isn’t news that smoking is bad for your health. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year and is the leading cause of preventable death. That equates to one in five deaths.1-3 More deaths are caused by smoking than human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents, and fire-arm related incidents.4...

The Education Process of Prophylaxis vs. Scaling and Root Planing

Note: This is Part 3 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Why do some patients have such a difficult time wrapping their head around the difference between a traditional, preventive “cleaning” and treatment for disease? Every hygienist goes through this at some point, trying desperately to explain prophylaxis vs....

The Boomers: Enhancing the Dental Hygienist’s Communication Skills for the Elders

We all chose dentistry for different reasons. Our technical skills were developed and nurtured throughout college, but communication skills were never a clear focus in our curriculum, as far as I could tell. I think there is always the assumption that we had already developed great “people skills” by the time we entered college. After graduation, many clinicians realize that...

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...

How to Assist Patients who Prefer an Alternative Approach to Dental Care

Worldwide access to evidence-based clinical decision making must coexist with respect for individual decision making shaped by local culture and circumstances. This is the balance between globalizing the evidence and localizing the decisions that will improve delivery of healthcare worldwide. -John Eisenberg Abstract: Purpose: This literature review demonstrates the importance for medical professionals to broaden their knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine...

7 Ways to Turn Awkward Appointments into Amazing Ones

We all have that one patient (maybe more) that we see in our schedule and inwardly cringe. Or we have a new patient that makes our head spin with their bizarre behavior. How do you handle that? What do you say? Can we make this appointment go “normally?” Below are seven tips for making awkward appointments run smoothly thereby...

Reviewing the Relationship of Mental Health with Dental Hygiene Care

Dentistry can be associated with anxiety, phobias, and acute stress. Conversely, these psychological disorders can be associated with dental diseases such as erosion, caries, and periodontal disease.5 Stress, anxiety, and depression may negatively affect the catabolic and anabolic pathways the body uses to react and adjust to reestablish homeostasis. The body’s response to stress is to activate the sympathetic...

The Paradigm Shift: 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scan

It’s 2018, and to my surprise, there are many dental practices still using film radiographs.  Although there is nothing wrong with film radiographs, we can all attest that digital images offer not only lower exposure to radiation but also clearer images versus traditional film. With clearer images, the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis in the treatment planning, and...

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