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...

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...

What Hygienists Need to Know About Basal Cell Carcinoma

When greeting your patients, do you look them in the eye and evaluate their face overall? It is important as you walk with them to notice their gait and general appearance. I recently had a new patient present and noticed a small reddened area along her lower lash line. Before placing our darkened, protective glasses, I inquired about the area to...

Children’s Oral Health Month: Emphasis on Children’s Dental Care

February is designated Children’s Oral Health Month in the dental community. Children’s Oral Health Month places emphasis on educating parents and children on the importance of children’s oral health. As part of the celebration, dental professionals and dental supply companies focus on oral health care prevention and preparation for the challenges facing children’s oral health. Caries is the most preventable...

Interview: A Hygienist’s Experience with Cetacaine Liquid Topical Anesthetic

Article sponsored by Cetylite. Cherie Wink, RDH was not a paid endorser for this article. Cetacaine Liquid (Benzocaine 14%, Butamben 2%, Tetracaine HCl 2%), the prescription topical anesthetic from Cetylite, is frequently recommended as a pain control option for procedures such as scaling and root planing. Cetacaine can be placed into periodontal pockets to provide 30 to 60 minutes of...

A Life Behind Bars or a Future You Can See: Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Dear dental hygienists, I know it’s tough to perform a prophylaxis around braces. You know how hard it is for the patient to maintain cleanliness, living a dental life behind “bars.” We know for a fact that dentistry is advancing especially when clear aligners are available as an option for patients. Although this is not for us to decide...

Be an “Eagle-Eye” – The Importance of Hygienist, Doctor, and Patient Co-diagnosing

My employer often calls me “Eagle Eye” because he knows and appreciates my skills as a hygienist. Having a heightened sense of the oral condition of each patient sets up for a great handoff during the doctor’s examination. It is essential to go above and beyond routine care to assist in co-diagnosing with the doctor and patient for a...

Air Polishing Dangers: Case Study of an Injured Dental Patient

A friend recently reached out to me and other dental professionals on Facebook to ask for help regarding a soft tissue injury sustained while his dental hygienist was using an air polisher. We’ll just refer to this fellow as Joe to protect his privacy. Joe has seemingly suffered every complication and long-term side effect from treatment for head-and-neck cancer...

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....

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...

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