How Hygienists Can Counter Unsupervised Ortho & Clip-On Veneers

Unfortunately, this has become an era of marketing schemes, and we can all agree that dental hygienists are not their demographic targets. New cosmetic and teeth-straightening products have emerged with the consumer market in mind. The products are becoming so accessible that it may even be the next drug-store impulse buy. Patients may be picking up some clear aligners...

Dental Sealants: Making a Choice in Etching

We are all very aware of how effective dental sealants are against caries. The thin, little barriers placed in the pits and fissures of molar and premolar teeth have been around in one form or another since 1966. They have acted as a formidable defense in the fight against plaque and bacteria that would normally cause carious lesions. You may have...

Stop Diagnosing Pocketbooks and Treatment Plan Accordingly

When hygienists enter the field of dentistry, many present with hearts of gold. It is noticeable the minute you meet a hygienist; he/she cares about your health, family, and even more than can be imagined! Behind the compassionate hearts of hygienists, one can often find a hygienist worrying about how a patient will afford that newly diagnosed crown or...

The Priority of OHI Despite Demands of Schedule: Make Time for Patient Education

Whether you recently graduated from dental hygiene school or you have been practicing for 25 years, you may find yourself in survival mode at work from time to time. Many demands are placed on our precious minutes with our patients. Daily practice of dental hygiene may include any or all of the following: radiographs, head and neck exams, periodontal...

Sensitivity: Exploring the Root Cause of the Dental Patient’s Pain

Tooth sensitivity is one of the primary factors prompting patients to visit the dental office. Tooth sensitivity is one of the primary factors prompting patients to avoid the dental office. Both statements above are true. Let’s take the first statement and extrapolate. A scheduled patient hasn’t been in the office for a while, is slightly overdue, or perhaps is a new patient....

Geriatric Care: Oral Hygiene Challenges in Care Facilities

According to the Institute on Aging, by 2030 as the last Baby Boomers turn 65, older adults are expected to reach 20% of the population.1 In 1900, only 100,000 Americans lived to be 85 plus years; by 2010, that number had grown to 5.5 million. This is the fastest growing age group of elders.1 The irony of aging and oral...

What Hygienists Should Say When Patients Refuse Dental Radiographs

When a dental hygienist struggles to talk a patient into receiving the basic standard of care, the frustrating experience can leave an indelible on a career. Eyes roll across the country during morning huddles when the hygienist spots a familiar patient name with the words “Overdue for x-rays” on the schedule! Exploring and practicing communication skills through verbal scripting strategies...

Iron-Deficiency Anemia: What Dental Hygienists Need to Know

Every cell in the human body contains iron. Yet, there are only about 4 grams (less than a teaspoon) present in the entire body. Iron’s main role is to transport oxygen throughout the body, and it’s a key player in energy metabolism.2 While liver (with or without onions) may remain the poster-child for iron, other foods such as meats, egg...

Radiology Guidelines: Are Your Patients Over-Exposed?

Dental hygienists often fight against allowing health insurance companies to dictate treatment plans. They document, chart, probe, and appeal to get properly timed recall appointments covered for their patients. So, why do many offices allow the once per year insurance coverage on most dental plans to dictate the frequency of dental radiographs? The ADA, in conjunction with the FDA, recently...

The CBCT View: Images Can Greatly Impact Dental Hygiene Education

When cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is discussed, do you immediately think of dental implant placement, third molar extractions, or sinus lifts? More and more general dentistry and periodontal practices are investing in CT imaging equipment. The value of the CBCT image cannot be underestimated in terms of application to the daily practice of dental hygienists. Let’s take a look...

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