Behcet’s Disease: What Dental Hygienists Should Know & Look For

Behcet’s disease is an autoimmune disorder which attacks the blood vessels and creates inflammation. “It is known as a multisystem inflammatory disorder characterized by ulcers affecting the mouth and genitals, various skin lesions, and abnormalities affecting the eyes.3” Behcet's disease is most commonly found in Japan, China, Turkey, and Iran, also known as the “Old Silk Route;” it is...

Sealants: Not Just For Kids Anymore

As a dental hygienist, I consider myself a preventive oral healthcare specialist. Dental hygienists are one of the few healthcare providers with the primary goal of preventing disease - not just treating it. We have an entire arsenal of preventive procedures we can offer our patients which ultimately leads to reduced cost and discomfort by reducing restorative treatment needs....

Expanding Sensitivity Options

Dentin hypersensitivity is consistently a top chief complaint dental hygienists hear from patients.  Levels of sensitivity and the underlying causes of this condition can vary widely making it important to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Dentin hypersensitivity is characterized by short, sharp pain from exposed dentin in response to thermal, evaporative, tactile, osmotic or chemical stimuli...

The Link between Nitrous Oxide Uptake and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Dentistry as a whole can often bring about anxiety and stress for many patients. This anxiety does not just occur when restorative work needs to be addressed, but for many, the idea of a “routine cleaning,” as well as any kind of periodontal maintenance treatment, can induce high anxiety and stress. Some people will avoid scheduling dental procedures until...

Botox Isn’t Just for Wrinkles Anymore: A Hygienist’s Experience with TMJ Treatment

Do you clench or grind your teeth? Wake up with headaches or stiff, tight muscles in your face? So many people are affected by the daily stress of life which can lead to clenching and grinding. Improper occlusion or airway issues can lead to bruxism and TMJ issues. Too much caffeine or too much gum chewing can lead to...

A Dental Hygienist’s Role in Early Childhood Caries Prevention

Early childhood caries (ECC) is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases, and possibly the most preventable. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) defines ECC as a significant chronic disease resulting from an imbalance of multiple risk and protective factors over time1. In the United States, 3-6% of children under the age of 6 are affected by...

To Upsell or Not, That is The Question

I have been a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist since 1987.  I cannot believe the math, but yes, 31 years! I have witnessed a lot of change over those decades. From optional ultrasonic usage for the extreme calculus “difficult prophy” cases versus daily ultrasonic/piezo usage as a standard of care, fluoride trays instead of fluoride varnish application, monster-sized clinical chairs...

Hygienist Confession: Yeah, I Leave Stain. Here’s Why.

I am a “self-proclaimed” perfectionist. I need to know I am doing the best job I can while striving to do it better. Sound familiar? A little like most hygienists you know? If you had asked me ten years ago that I would knowingly leave stain on people’s teeth, I would have laughed. Knowing this may have caused me to...

How to Create a Stress-Free Appointment for Patients by Utilizing Desensitization

We all have those patients who simply hate what it is that we do. Whether it’s updating health history, laying back in the chair, probing, too much water, bad flavors, or scaling their teeth, they hate it all. Desensitization is the process used to overcome each of the objections to create an appointment free of stress and which can...

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...

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