How to Build Good Rapport with Patients and Set Yourself Apart

Have you ever had a patient ask, “So, what do you think?” after the dentist walks out of the room? If so, that patient trusts you not only with his/her oral health care but also with an important financial decision. You have developed a good rapport with that patient, and maintaining it is extremely important for many reasons. We...

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride the Key to Preventing Caries in Under-served Populations?

As a fairly new hygienist in private practice in New Jersey, I rarely thought about treatment options for a child that presents with a carious lesion.  I think to myself, “That tooth will need a composite restoration for sure,” and carry on with the treatment for the day. It is easy to be caught in a daily hygiene “bubble.”...

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...

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...

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...

Dear IA Nerve Block: It’s Not Me, It’s YOU!

It’s time to breakup with the Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block As a seasoned educator and content expert in the delivery of dental local anesthesia, I find most of my esteemed colleagues, myself included, share a profound frustration over the seemingly inadequate anesthesia delivered to achieve mandibular numbness.  In simplest terms, the provision of mandibular anesthesia has most commonly been the...

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...

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...

I Don’t Meet Strangers at the Dental Office, I Meet People

A patient once told me that she did not meet strangers, she meets people. Her wise words resonated with me deeply and I utilize her perspective in my daily work and life. When meeting new patients, it is essential to build rapport during their initial visit. I've developed a system of three key factors to remember: Be intentional Be sincere Be...

Difficult Patients: Not an Endangered Species

You see them all the time, difficult patients. They are definitely not an endangered species. We all have those war stories. Throughout the hygiene program, and the few months I’ve been in practice, I’ve already had my fair share of difficult patients. Even though they can sometimes bring a negative atmosphere to the appointment, we still have time to...

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