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...

Smoking Cessation: Deliberate Education Can Steer Smoking Dental Patients towards Quitting

Most people are aware of the systemic diseases caused by smoking. Many, though, are unaware of the multiple oral health implications that are associated with smoking. Some oral health issues associated with smoking may be a precursor to systemic disease. In addition to improving oral health, dental professionals can encourage smoking cessation before the onset of systemic diseases that...

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...

Dental Hygienists and Specialists: Collaboration Leads to Better Patient Health Outcomes

Dental hygienists are essential partners in periodontal and orthodontic specialty treatments. The dental hygienist is vital in the collaborative patient care behind periodontal disease and misaligned teeth. The collaborative role that each dental team member and provider plays can positively or negatively influence patients’ perceptions of the practice, their trust in the providers, and their overall treatment acceptance. We know...

Jaw Pain: Evaluating the Severity of Injuries from Dental Treatment

Jaw sprain is a common event yet is commonly underreported or misdiagnosed. The jaw is one of the most used joints in the human body, and it makes sense for it to have wear and tear, overuse, injuries, and pain. Dental patients who experience a jaw sprain have a challenging time keeping their mouths open and constantly need to rest...

A Refresher to Caries Risk Management Strategies

Dental caries is defined as a “biofilm-mediated, sugar-driven, multifactorial, dynamic disease that results in the phasic demineralization and remineralization of dental hard tissues.”1 It is a progressive and chronic process enabled by the continuous provision of a sugar source, often combined with substandard oral hygiene habits, as well as other factors such as the mineral composition of the saliva...

Encouragement over Punishment: How Dental Patients Hear Our Oral Health Messages

"Floss more and brush better." This is the dreaded advice patients expect to get scolded with every six months. How many times have we sat there and discussed the benefits of interdental cleaning and demonstrated how to brush? Let's step back and remember what it was like for us before we became oral health preventative specialists. A patient would show...

Understanding the Therapeutic Dental Applications of Botox

Dental professionals are told all too often by patients how much they do not care for their dental visits. For that reason, dentistry continually searches for ways to improve the patient experience with the most pain-free and minimally invasive treatment options. Botox may be commonly associated with smoothing wrinkles, but the treatments are well-positioned to become the standard of...

You Can’t Want It for Them: Raising Expectations of Oral Health

I can still see the faces of the patients who stumped me the most. They are people who I thought were going to be my biggest success stories but weren’t. They presented with halitosis, visible staining and calculus, dark red, inflamed gingiva, and were in just the initial stages of periodontal disease. They were otherwise healthy, successful people, and...

Heart Health: Importance of Pre-Operative Blood Pressure Screenings in the Dental Office

Have you been asked countless times by patients why dental clinicians need to take blood pressure prior to the appointment? Are you working in an office that has yet to establish a patient triage prior to appointments? Understanding the important role that the dental clinician plays in risk assessment protocol can mean life or death to patients. Blood pressure is...

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