Dental Microscope Brings Macro Results: Building Value with Oral Pathogen Analysis

A few years ago, our dental office implemented a microscope for the hygiene room. Game changer! I had no idea what a profound impact the instrument would have on dental hygiene treatment. There is much more awareness of the oral-systemic link these days. When discussing the oral-systemic link, we must discuss the oral microbiome. Biofilm is the collection of various...

Oral Malodor: Causes, Effects, and Treatment of the Dental Patient

The nationwide trend toward wearing masks has precipitated a new concern for dental patients − oral malodor, aka bad breath. Oral malodor is an “unpleasant odor” created by gram-negative anaerobic bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSC).”1,2 Malodor roughly affects over 50% of the population, and the causes vary from pathologic to nonpathologic in nature. The dental hygienist plays a...

Oral Probiotics: The Missing Home Care Link to Controlling Oral Bacteria

The routine of proper oral hygiene is widely understood (while not always practiced) by the majority of society. For most, this practice begins with parents upon the eruption of their child's first tooth. Those who have visited a dental office for a routine exam and hygiene care will have been given oral hygiene directives. Those instructions will include the...

How Dental Hygienists Can Help Patients with Dental Phobias

How many times a week do you hear the phrases, “I hate the dentist, I always dread coming here, I would rather be somewhere else,” or some other phrase indicating the patient highly dislikes being at the dental office, which includes your operatory? When hearing these phrases, we can either become offended at the statement, and take it personally,...

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.1 However, children are not the only ones who suffer from dental decay. According to the CDC, 91%...

Hepatitis: Different Types of Hepatitis Dental Professionals Should Know About

Hepatitis
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that ranges from minimal symptoms to severe liver failure. Hepatitis is mainly viral with the common A, B, and C strains and these strains are the ones dental professionals are mostly aware of. Other hepatitis categories include infectious, metabolic, autoimmune, genetic, and ischemic. As discussed below, the dental management of hepatitis patients is...

10 Things Dental Patients Want When Choosing a Dental Provider

Have you ever wondered what really matters to patients when they are choosing a dental provider? In this highly competitive dental market, knowing what your patients really care about and being able to deliver that can be a simple key to achieving patient satisfaction. Dental patients have all types of different reasons for choosing you or your dental office. It...

Iron-Deficiency Anemia: What Dental Hygienists Need to Know

Every cell in the human body contains iron. Yet, there are only about 4 grams (less than a teaspoon) present in the entire body. Iron’s main role is to transport oxygen throughout the body, and it’s a key player in energy metabolism.2 While liver (with or without onions) may remain the poster-child for iron, other foods such as meats, egg...

Frenums: Checking for Frenum Abnormalities During Oral Hygiene Exams

Frenums are normal anatomy within the mouth, yet often neglected. The frenum consists of loose, fibrous connective tissue, elastic fibers, and striated muscle fibers that develop from muscle bundles of the lip. The purpose is to provide stability to the tongue and upper and lower lip. This mucous membrane fold attaches the lip and cheek to the alveolar mucosa, gingiva,...

Oral Piercing, Tattooing: RDHs Can Help Inform Patients about Body Modifications

Self-expression comes in many forms, including body modifications such as tattoos and piercings. Intraoral or perioral piercings and tattoos are more popular than ever. The awareness of how these changes may affect oral health, however, is minimal. Dental hygienists can help answer patient questions concerning oral modifications, provide information about associated risks, and educate on after-care for the best...

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