Mental Nerve Block: A Welcomed Alternative in Mandibular Anesthesia

Effective anesthesia does not have to be a source of anxiety for patients or practitioners. Most of us dread the mandibular inferior alveolar nerve block (MIANB) and will try anything to avoid giving this injection. I am one of those practitioners who have explored other options to achieve pain-free anesthesia and pain-free periodontal treatment. When I was learning to give...

D4346: The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Gingivitis Treatment

In 2017, the American Dental Association developed a new code for hygiene care: D4346, or scaling in the presence of generalized moderate or severe inflammation – full mouth after oral evaluation. This is a form of treatment that dentists and hygienists worked for years to create. However, even five years later, most dental offices are not utilizing this code. Many...

How Dental Hygienists Can Help Guide Patients to Better Dietary Habits

Have any dental patients stated that they want to eat better, but “I just don’t know where to start,” and if so, what did you tell them? Do you, as a dental hygienist, even know where to start? What does it take to form a new habit? After all, new beginnings aren’t anything new. As a matter of fact, many...

Scleroderma: How Dental Hygienists Can Approach Oral Symptoms

Scleroderma is an autoimmune connective tissue and rheumatic disease that causes inflammation in the skin and other areas of the body, including the face and mouth. Oral manifestations of scleroderma may directly affect a person's ability to maintain optimal oral health. Dental hygienists may be the first health care provider to note scleroderma. Early detection, medical referral, and treatment are...

The Close Relationship between Oral Allergy Syndrome and Seasonal Allergies

Oral Allergy Syndrome
Seasonal allergies can be dreadful. Everyone seems to be affected to some degree. Did you know that certain seasonal allergies can cause oral symptoms as well? Patients may not realize the connection or that there is a possibility that their oral symptoms could be linked to certain seasonal allergies. Studies indicate that 20% to 70% of people who suffer...

Case Study: Dental Hygiene Student Bases Patient Education on Medical History

Many patients who come into the dental clinic are on various medications, and it is rare and surprising when a patient over the age of 50 is not on at least one medication. An estimated 29% of Americans are taking five or more medications regularly.1 Health care has seen an increase in patients taking multiple medications as people are living...

Elder Care: Dental Hygienists Can Help Seniors Bridge Oral, Systemic Health

In this era, more people are fortunate to know their great grandparents and even their great-great-grandparents ‒ an opportunity that most of our parents or grandparents did not have. The U.S. population of seniors is increasing significantly, and, according to the 2019 census, senior citizens ages 65 and over represent 16.21% of the U.S. population (9% globally).17 By 2030, it...

Drug Addiction: The Importance of Patient Disclosure before Dental Treatment

Working for a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is rewarding, yet the variety of patients I serve can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Patients I see regularly range from drug and alcohol addicts, special needs, juvenile delinquents, patients who are starting over after being in prison, AIDS/HIV, and more. Each patient is unique and has a set of health...

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...

Halitosis: How Dental Professionals Can Sniff Their Way to the Source

Halitosis is a malodor that is expelled from the mouth. While everyone wakes in the morning with a less than desirable mouth aroma, some dental patients actually battle chronic bad breath on a daily basis. One in four people experience bad breath, and some studies have reported as high as 50% of the adult population suffers from halitosis.1,2 In fact,...

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