Undeniably, COVID-19 has forever changed the way we practice dentistry and manage infection control. Every area of your practice has been impacted, from how patients are scheduled and checked in, to how office staff don and doff all the new PPE.
Making sure patients are well informed of the importance of oral health before they even book their hygiene appointment can help curb anxiety or other barriers that may be preventing them from coming into the dental office. And with staff training on how to communicate key oral health messages with patients, the oral hygiene appointment can be the perfect way to build relationships and trust with patients.
In part two of its series “Implementing Routine Quality Assurance of Infection Prevention Policies and Procedures,” OSAP continues its close look at instrument reprocessing. Specifically, part two in this series outlines one approach to performing routine quality assurance related to packaging instruments during reprocessing.
As dentists and hygienists question the use of ultrasonic instruments during the COVID-19 pandemic, they may also be looking for ways to eliminate or at least control aerosols and splatter. Young Innovations recently introduced the Splatter Guard® prophy angle, which nearly eliminates airborne particles during prophylaxis polishing. Whitney Howerton, MDH, RDH, gives Splatter Guard a test run.
Oral healthcare is essential at any age, but for children, maintaining a healthy mouth holds special importance. Dental caries is the most common chronic childhood infectious disease. As of 2015, approximately 573 million children worldwide had at least one untreated cavity.
A recent global health pandemic has brought personal protective equipment (PPE) to the public’s attention, but dental professionals have long been familiar with the concept of PPE. Despite this, many workers fail to adhere to PPE requirements because they find equipment cumbersome, uncomfortable or disruptive to performing tasks and communicating with patients and personnel. To remove these barriers, dental offices must supply PPE that maximizes ease of use, comfort and performance.
The current recommendation for when to replace a scaler is when 20% of the instrument blade width or length is reduced or no longer the original design. But how long it takes for each instrument to reach this threshold is dependent on several factors. Deb (Hume) Brown, RDH, shares some of these factors and how a failure to replace instruments can affect the clinician and the patient.
Although every patient who enters a dental office should be treated as if they could have an infectious disease; times like these help us pause, take a step back and make sure we’re compliant with current guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Here are some ways to make sure your dental office is OSHA compliant.
As a pre-law student and tennis player, Irene Iancu never initially planned to go into dentistry. Getting hurt on the tennis court, combined with other life changes, led her to the field of dental hygiene and she became a hygienist in 2007. Her work ethic […]
It is a well-known fact that in the United States, our healthcare system tends to focus on the treatment of disease, rather than the prevention of it. This sentiment is echoed in the following excerpt from a 2012 New England Journal of Medicine article: “Although […]
Every dental hygiene team member should have a productivity goal or target within the practice. What does this production goal represent? Is it a random number you come up with based on what your colleagues have suggested? Your hygiene productivity goals need to be relatable, […]
Oral Health America’s annual Fall for Smiles® campaign is just around the corner, which focuses on educating all Americans about the importance of oral health and how to keep a healthy smile through daily brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist, eating a healthy diet, […]
As a dental assistant at Children’s Smile Center in Ozark, Mo., Brooke Neill knows that her most powerful tool for improving patients’ oral health is not a prophy angle or scaler – it’s education. Brooke begins each appointment by getting to know the child and […]
This year marks the 100th year of the dental hygienist. When I look at the profession today, vs. what the profession was when I graduated from Northwestern University School of Dental Hygiene in 1976, I can hardly believe all the changes. White caps, white uniforms […]