Getting Down to It: Gingival Recession and Sensitivity

As a practicing hygienist, how many patients could you say are victims of gingival recession? I can honestly say that at least half of the patients I treat have some degree of recession. Many of them do not even know what recession is. They only understand the sensitivity that they feel as they drink or eat anything cold. Are...

What Patients Need to Know about Periodontitis Links to Diabetes & Heart Disease

There are many diseases that are prevalent in the world, and some diseases even more so in the United States. Diabetes and heart disease are diseases that are becoming more and more common to this country's population. However, there is another disease that does not get nearly as much attention that not only affects almost half of all adult...

The Happy Visit: How to Treat a Child at Their First Dental Appointment

Note: This is Part 2 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here. If every patient is to be treated as special, young children need to be treated as super special! It is most important that young children learn to love the dental office. We can eliminate fear and apprehension by setting the future of...

Pediatric Dental Hygiene: How Can You Work on Kids?!

As a pediatric dental hygienist, I am often asked “How can you work on kids?” and “WHY do you work in pediatrics?!” First and foremost, I love kids. I always have. When I was a little girl, I just wanted to be a mommy. Then I figured out that I needed to be able to support said children. Since...

How to Make a Difference with Refugee Dental Care

The United States, throughout history, has been a refuge for those fleeing countries where the political climate or other circumstances has made living there unsafe. Although the United States’ current political climate is such that we are unsure just how many refugees will continue to be welcomed into our country, as dental professionals we must be aware of the...

The Importance of Screening Pediatric Patients for Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less...

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...

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