How Dental Hygienists Make Patients Feel Welcome

Not too long ago, a patient showed up with a crocheted blanket for one of our hygienists who was expecting a baby soon. I witnessed two women, one in her childbearing years and one with grown children and grandchildren, a patient and a hygienist, who had built a special relationship. I believe a bond was formed over patient care...

Forming Relationships: The Single Most Important Thing One Can Do in a Lifetime

Recently, my house was crazy; my graduation, a full-time faculty interview for a position in dental hygiene education, my son’s high school graduation, all in the midst of us moving from our house of ten years. Crazy, may not even touch it! Nevertheless, I was present in all aspects of each event, despite the chaos surrounding us. Being present manifested...

Dental Sealants: Saving Teeth since the 1960s

Tooth decay is no stranger to the dental professional. In fact, it isn’t a stranger to most! According to a study done by the CDC, 1 out of every five children aged 5-11 and 1 of 7 adolescents aged 12-19 have dental decay. However, children are not the only ones who suffer from dental decay. According to the CDC,...

The Very Special Education Process of Medical History Disclosure

Note: This is Part 5 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here. Each of us experiences the patient that just disagrees with everything. The challenge, and often most rewarding portion of our appointment, is getting to yes. Often it starts in the reception area, was the wait...

How to Connect with Patients and Get Results

Oral health promotion plays a primary part in our role as Registered Dental Hygienists. We are in fact, Oral Health Practitioners. How often though, do our patients come through those revolving dental doors every three, four, or six months with the same deposits, plaque, and lack of oral care they present with time after time? It cannot be our...

Oral Implications of Frequent Marijuana Use

In the United States, the use of marijuana has almost doubled since 2013, going from 7% to 13% of adult Americans using marijuana regularly, either recreationally or medically.1 Although the use of the drug is still federally banned, many states have limited legal restrictions to the drug, allowing people to gain easier access to various forms of marijuana for...

Periodontal Maintenance: Taking the Guesswork Out of the 4910

By definition, the 4910 periodontal maintenance code is defined as the procedure following periodontal therapy and continues at varying intervals determined by the clinical evaluation. It includes removal of bacterial plaque, calculus, from supra and sub-regions, and SITE specific SRP where indicated, as well as polishing the teeth1. My focus this month is not to dissect the code and...

Why Caries Detection is More than Just Looking for “Stickiness”

Patients and dental professionals don’t always see eye to eye on dental needs, but carious lesions are one thing they often agree on. No one wants to hear the dreaded words that you, or your child, have a cavity. Through various lectures of my schooling, caries detection, both traditional and newer age techniques, have been addressed. Traditionally, caries detection was...

Medical History: Your Patient is Not Telling You Everything

We’ve all heard it before when questioning a patient about their medical history, “There is no change.” Patients are so quick to tell us no change or that nothing pertains to their teeth in regards to their medical history. Little do these patients know their medical history is a big key to unlocking their dental health care assessment and...

The Great Fluoride Debate: Patients Who Refuse Fluoride

Note: This is Part 4 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. Every patient who sits in our chair has preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong. Some patients feel that chemicals are evil, toothpaste is potentially life-threatening, and a fluoride treatment is not...

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