Considerations for the Management of Geriatric Patients

The United States has a growing demographic of older adults, those 65 years of age and older, who are increasingly becoming a large part of dental practices. Dental professionals can play an integral part in helping this population to overcome physical, cognitive, and environmental changes; including challenges in relation to their oral health that they may face with aging....

Ankyloglossia: Please Release Me!

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital anomaly that may severely restrict the tongue’s range of motion. It is caused by an abnormally thick, short lingual frenulum which tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Severe tongue-ties are usually discovered at birth as it interferes with normal breast-feeding.1 If not discovered at birth...

How to Ensure Patients Actually Use Recommended Oral Health Devices

Many dental hygienists probably give unsolicited advice to random strangers in the oral health aisle of the local superstore. Yes, you know who you are! Why give advice to only random strangers, though? You should be encouraging your own patients to purchase the devices, get them out of the box, and plug them in! Recently, I was having a conversation...

Mental Nerve Block: A Welcomed Alternative in Mandibular Anesthesia

Effective anesthesia does not have to be a source of anxiety for patients or practitioners. Most of us dread the mandibular inferior alveolar nerve block (MIANB) and will try anything to avoid giving this injection. I am one of those practitioners who have explored other options to achieve pain-free anesthesia and pain-free periodontal treatment. When I was learning to give...

Dear IA Nerve Block: It’s Not Me, It’s YOU!

It’s time to breakup with the Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block As a seasoned educator and content expert in the delivery of dental local anesthesia, I find most of my esteemed colleagues, myself included, share a profound frustration over the seemingly inadequate anesthesia delivered to achieve mandibular numbness.  In simplest terms, the provision of mandibular anesthesia has most commonly been the...

Due Diligence Hygienists Should Take for Dry Mouth Patients

Each time a patient sits down in my chair, I ask them a series of questions before I do anything else: Are there any changes in your health since we last saw you in the office? Are you currently taking any medications, either prescribed or over-the-counter? Is there anything giving you any trouble in your mouth? Any pain, sensitivity,...

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...

5 Step Implant Assessment

Implants are becoming commonplace in our patients, and we need to know how to care for them in office and for patient instruction. At one time, patients presented with bridges; we now know that cutting down healthy opposing teeth to give patients a biting surface is old school and that asking patients to clean under a bridge was wishful...

Oral Implications of Cancer Treatment Hygienists Need to Know

Approximately 1.7 million cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2019, and over 600,000 are expected to die from cancer this year.1 In fact, 1 in 3 will personally deal with cancer in their lifetime.1 With these kinds of statistics, it is realistic to say each of us will either personally experience cancer or will have a family...

Radiology Update: Evolving Standards for Pregnancy, Shielding, and Frequency

The Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy was the first radiology scientific journal. First published in May 1896, just six months after the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen, Sydney Rowland wrote in the first editorial: “The object of this publication is to put on record in permanent form some of the most striking applications of the New Photography to the...

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