Understanding Behavioral Theories Leads to Better Oral Health Education

Learning the theoretical frameworks of health promotion and disease prevention is an extremely important and useful tool for dental hygienists providing patient education. For health educators to deliver useful interventions to the public, we first need to be aware of the theories involved to understand how our population relates to behavior changes. According to an article by the National Institutes...

Be an “Eagle-Eye” – The Importance of Hygienist, Doctor, and Patient Co-diagnosing

My employer often calls me “Eagle Eye” because he knows and appreciates my skills as a hygienist. Having a heightened sense of the oral condition of each patient sets up for a great handoff during the doctor’s examination. It is essential to go above and beyond routine care to assist in co-diagnosing with the doctor and patient for a...

How Small Gestures Can Help with Apprehensive Patients

We have all had that patient, the one that is terrified of being at the dentist. They look terrified from the moment you call their name and ask them to head to the back. These overwhelmed patients, in all their fear, don’t realize how their stress can affect you, as a clinician. How do you handle them? These patients...

Patients with Dental Phobias: How Do We Gain Trust?

Trust me; we have all been in this position before. As soon as we sit the patient down in the dental chair, we experience resentment and fear. As a dental hygienist, I cannot begin to tell you how many times patients tell me that they hate the dentist. I personally find it amusing the way the patient explains this...

Finding Compassion With the Most Difficult Dental Patients

We can all think of that patient. You know, the patient you see in your schedule that makes you question whether the sudden onset of flu is approaching. When you see that name, all of the agony you know that upcoming appointment holds for you flashes through your mind, as you break into a cold sweat and your hands...

How to Talk to Patients About Removal of Amalgam Restorations

Many dental offices, including the one I practice in today, are now mercury-free. Most of our patients are up-to-date with the research that mercury is a neurotoxin and, at certain levels, can cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, and mental disorders. We now have sufficient evidence-based research to acknowledge mercury restorations are not the ideal option they once...

Oral Implications of Cancer Treatment Hygienists Need to Know

Approximately 1.7 million cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2019, and over 600,000 are expected to die from cancer this year.1 In fact, 1 in 3 will personally deal with cancer in their lifetime.1 With these kinds of statistics, it is realistic to say each of us will either personally experience cancer or will have a family...

4 Tips to Help Achieve Patient Compliance

We hear about seemingly difficult patients quite often. “My patient was so difficult.” “I can’t believe my patient would possibly tell me he is OK with such poor oral health!” We may even be guilty of making some of the preceding complaints. As clinicians, the care we provide is reliant on the amount of success we can achieve in gaining...

5 Tips for Treating Geriatric Patients

Have you heard "I'm too old for x-rays!" from a geriatric patient? Age is but a number, and it is not an excuse for below standard of care. Quality dental care is always a must, no matter the age. First, who is categorized as a geriatric? On average, adults older than age 65 can be grouped in this category. According...

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...

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