Is Silver Diamine Fluoride the Key to Preventing Caries in Under-served Populations?

As a fairly new hygienist in private practice in New Jersey, I rarely thought about treatment options for a child that presents with a carious lesion.  I think to myself, “That tooth will need a composite restoration for sure,” and carry on with the treatment for the day. It is easy to be caught in a daily hygiene “bubble.”...

Patients with Dental Phobias: How Do We Gain Trust?

Trust me; we have all been in this position before. As soon as we sit the patient down in the dental chair, we experience resentment and fear. As a dental hygienist, I cannot begin to tell you how many times patients tell me that they hate the dentist. I personally find it amusing the way the patient explains this...

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...

Networking to Achieve Overall Health for Patients

Recently, at my annual well visit with my primary care physician, after the usual weight and blood pressure check, I was asked when I last had my eyes checked, when I last saw a dermatologist, when I last had a mammogram and so on. The one thing that was missing from these interview questions was when was my last...

The Paradigm Shift: 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scan

It’s 2018, and to my surprise, there are many dental practices still using film radiographs.  Although there is nothing wrong with film radiographs, we can all attest that digital images offer not only lower exposure to radiation but also clearer images versus traditional film. With clearer images, the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis in the treatment planning, and...

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...

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...

A Practical Look at Silver Diamine Fluoride

silver diamine fluoride
As a practicing dental hygienist, I know every day I will fail to perfectly communicate the importance of diligent daily oral health care to a patient. I would like to believe that every single instance where a patient presents with gingivitis or incipient decay, I would be able to impress upon them the need to clean interdentally once, brush...

Periodontal Diagnosis: How to Maintain Positive Control of the Appointment

As dental hygienists we’ve all been there, treating a new patient with a periodontal diagnosis.  How do we turn an appointment around after we diagnose a new patient who has been seen by the same dentist regularly for years yet has never heard of periodontal disease?  It’s an everyday struggle for a dental hygienist to gain control of the...

Understanding Behavioral Theories Leads to Better Oral Health Education

Learning the theoretical frameworks of health promotion and disease prevention is an extremely important and useful tool for dental hygienists providing patient education. For health educators to deliver useful interventions to the public, we first need to be aware of the theories involved to understand how our population relates to behavior changes. According to an article by the National Institutes...

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