Radiation Protection: Ensuring Low Risks with Dental Exposures

Substantial evidence demonstrates a significant increase in the use of medical imaging. Computerized tomography and ionizing radiation imaging have improved medicine and dentistry in many ways. The ability to use digital imaging has eliminated many invasive exploratory procedures. Medical professionals can more easily diagnose many conditions and diseases. A statement by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) declared, “The...

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome: The Importance of a Dental Diagnosis

As dental clinicians, the medical history and clinical examination of our patients play important roles in differentiating vital signs which may be affecting the patient’s medical and dental health. Recently, the dental community has become more aware of the potential risks to medical health through disrupted sleep patterns caused by anatomical facial variances. Dental clinicians can initiate the diagnosis...

The First Line of Defense Against Oral Cancer

Truth be told, cancer in its many forms has touched the lives of almost every single person I know. No one is safe from a cancer diagnosis. Countless children have been left without their parents, and countless parents have been left without answers. So many of us that have lost someone to cancer walk the desolate halls of grief;...

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....

Modifying Patient Behavior Remains One of Dental Hygiene’s Primary Objectives

Change is inevitable. Without change, there is no movement forward. The process of change is not always an easy one. As primary health-care providers, dental hygienists are known as health promotion specialists and behavior change motivators. Dr. Alfred Fones originally developed the profession of dental hygiene to be educators and clinicians. Dr. Fones believed in the value of health education...

Myofunctional Therapy: Expanding Dental Intervention

It seems that in the past, the main reason to refer a patient to a therapist was for a tongue thrust. We now have a wide variety of symptoms we need to be looking for which can be treated by a Myofunctional Therapist that can greatly improve our patients’ quality of life. Things such as malocclusion, long-term thumb sucking,...

Dentinal Hypersensitivity Relief: A Review of Tokuyama’s Shield Force Plus

Disclosure: We value transparency at Today’s RDH. This review is sponsored content from Tokuyama Dental America, Inc. as part of our sponsored partner program. Your patient presents with a chief complaint of tooth sensitivity. After radiographs and a clinical examination, you’ve guessed it, gingival recession, exposed dentin, sensitivity, oh my! Unfortunately, dentinal hypersensitivity is a common issue for many of our patients....

Disposal of Opioids: How Hygienists Can Prevent Abuse through Education

Dental hygienists are acutely aware that the opioid crisis exists. However, we do not always put ourselves on the front lines of curbing dangerous practices that contribute to the misuse or unlawful distribution of these medicines. Years ago, when I was a dental hygiene student, I remember throwing my back out of place. I was given two prescriptions − one...

The Priority of OHI Despite Demands of Schedule: Make Time for Patient Education

Whether you recently graduated from dental hygiene school or you have been practicing for 25 years, you may find yourself in survival mode at work from time to time. Many demands are placed on our precious minutes with our patients. Daily practice of dental hygiene may include any or all of the following: radiographs, head and neck exams, periodontal...

Comprehensive Health History: Are You Doing a Thorough Review?

As dental hygienists, we are all educated on the importance of obtaining a thorough health history on our patients. Oral health can affect overall health and vice versa. A thorough health history also allows us to minimize risks associated with treating our patients and can help prepare and possibly predict, for a medical emergency. However, with appointment times being...

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