Dental Education Should Be the Goal through All Stages of Pregnancy

Many factors are at play in a woman’s body during pregnancy, and the oral cavity has an important role in the health of the mother as well as for the developing baby. All healthcare providers serve a role in the education of the expecting mother. The dental team should be knowledgeable, as well as comfortable, in educating a patient...

Difficult Patients: Not an Endangered Species

You see them all the time, difficult patients. They are definitely not an endangered species. We all have those war stories. Throughout the hygiene program, and the few months I’ve been in practice, I’ve already had my fair share of difficult patients. Even though they can sometimes bring a negative atmosphere to the appointment, we still have time to...

Tips for When Patients Question or Refuse Radiographs

Note: This is Part 1 of Debbi Viger's series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs All of us are special in some way and require adjustments to our treatment and our daily life. Let’s just embrace that concept for a moment, take a deep breath and strive to create excellence for ourselves and our patients. So often we read in blogs...

10 Expert Tips for Treating Pediatric Dental Patients

Let’s travel back a few years, okay a few decades, to my first dental appointment. A state ran facility had established itself a little over a mile from my childhood home. I remember arriving that day, and the first thing that greeted me was a wad of blood-soaked gauze on the sidewalk outside. I remember starring in horror, but...

7 Ways to Turn Awkward Appointments into Amazing Ones

We all have that one patient (maybe more) that we see in our schedule and inwardly cringe. Or we have a new patient that makes our head spin with their bizarre behavior. How do you handle that? What do you say? Can we make this appointment go “normally?” Below are seven tips for making awkward appointments run smoothly thereby...

Case Study: Patient Finally Heeds RDH’s Alert Over Lesion

Last spring, I treated a patient who I have seen routinely every six months for the past 11 years. Rob is a 75-year-old Caucasian male, heavy smoker, an upper denture wearer, has a history of skin cancer, very stubborn, and insurance-driven. Yet, we enjoy each other’s visits. We have been discussing tobacco cessation for 11 years now; I must confess that...

Functional Medicine: Antimicrobials Should Treat Causes of Perio, Not Just Symptoms

Functional medicine is not a new concept, but it is gaining in popularity.1 A progressive hybrid of holistic and Western medicine, functional medicine aims not only to control the symptoms of disease but focus instead on the causes of disease. Dental hygienists spend much of their time combating the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, prompting the question: Are we treating...

The Topic of Topicals: Pain Management with Benzocaine Encourages Dental Patient Comfort

In our line of work, many dental hygiene patients present with varying levels of anxiety. While fears range from gagging to feeling pain during procedures, one of the most common fears seems to be injections. Pain management is an important aspect of a successful dental appointment, but many patients tend to overlook the advantages of being anesthetized during treatment. As...

Cancer: How the Dental Professional Can Help Fight the Battle

Cancer is a fearfully dreaded word that has the capability of defeating dreams and breaking hearts. It is a word that has encroached in our lives and became far too comfortable. Unfortunately, we all have a common association with this word in some aspect, whether it is a friend, relative, or ourselves that has battled this ugly disease. As dental...

Baby Teeth Matter: Embrace the Opportunity to Introduce Kids to Dentistry

Do you remember your first dental visit? I do not; I was apparently too young to have any memory of that momentous occasion. However, thanks to my chosen profession, I am a part of many kiddos’ first dental visit! The American Dental Association recommends the first dental visit by age 12 months or six months after the appearance of the...

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