How Children with Autism View the Dental Experience

Dental providers consistently strive to provide comfortable care to all patients. However, children on the autism spectrum present a particular challenge in dental care due to sensory and communication issues. The prevalence of diagnosed autism disorders has increased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 54 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. This...

A Dental Hygienists’ Refresher on Periodontal Probing

Dental hygienists learn early on that the periodontal probe is essentially our greatest tool in the assessment of periodontal health. Periodontal probing creates a record of health or disease over time that dental hygienists can reference to, evaluate healing, or determine the possible need to implement a more aggressive treatment plan. Including dental radiographs, a complete periodontal evaluation allows...

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...

5 Steps Hygienists Can Take to Boost Oral Health Compliance

Think about something for a moment. How would you feel if there was something everybody else seemed to have, seemed to be able to do, and you couldn’t? What if you practiced it every single day of your life? What if, twice a year like clockwork, you were told that your best efforts to do this thing that everyone...

How Dental Hygienists Can Introduce Gallstones Into the Oral-Systemic Discussion

As a dental hygienist, I thought I had a decent overall understanding of the human body since our curriculum includes biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. One day out of the blue, I experienced abdominal pain so severe I thought it was a severe acid reflux attack. It was a little strange for me because, if I occasionally get a mild...

True Confession of a Less Than Ideal Bitewing

What’s your hygiene moment when you realize you have had an epic fail? Hopefully, none of you will ever have that experience, but I did, and I am on a mission to never let it happen again. Here’s the scenario, the patient presents for routine care. It’s a great appointment - everything status quo; health history reviewed, oral cancer...

Don’t Sugarcoat: Inform Every Patient about Their Dental Hygiene Diagnosis

No amount of time will be enough to do everything perfectly during each dental appointment. You need to make small talk with the patient, take vitals, go over health history, take radiographs, perform an oral cancer screening, record a full periodontal assessment, scale, polish, floss, teach patients how to perfect their home care, assist the doctor for an exam,...

Dentures: How Hygienists Can Educate the Insistent Patient about Edentulism

Dentures. Sometimes we stumble across the patient who is insistent about full mouth extractions and upper and lower dentures. Dental professionals realize the importance of first doing the obvious, gathering all of the facts and data about the patient, which includes complete dental records and (most critical) good listening skills. Why are these patients adamant about dentures? The reasons patients...

Dental Implants: Smoking Effects on Dental Implants

Dental implant placement has gained popularity over the years as an effective, long-term tooth replacement option. Under the right conditions, dental implants have a success rate of 98%.1 However, dental implants have some drawbacks, such as implant failure due to smoking. Thus, a thorough patient screening is important prior to dental implant treatment planning. A dental implant is a screw-like...

How to Build Relationships with Your Patients

In any healthcare setting, you are interacting with different types of people. Clinically, as dental professionals, you are working with a community of many different personality types. Because of a dental hygienist's one-on-one interaction with patients, it is crucial to make a connection. Making professional relationships with patients will only improve the overall care and treatment experience. Having relationships with...

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