They’re here! My New Course Selection for 2015

August 28, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  My 2015 selection reflects some new courses as well as my most popular ones from 2014.  I strive to blend the skills from my dental hygiene and marketing careers to create courses that are though-provoking, solution-oriented, and engaging.

How to Reach Your Fullest Potential: Mastering the Dental Hygiene Process of Care:
Do you feel if you could practice to your fullest potential that you would be happier and the practice more successful? Patient loyalty isn’t tied to how fast someone cleans teeth. Instead, satisfaction is tied to the overall quality of the visit; the time, attention, and care given to individual needs and concerns. This course will raise confidence and empower you to embrace and employ the dental hygiene process of care for personal and professional success.

Practicing Smarter, Not Harder: Getting to Yes with Periodontal Patients
Do you have patients who just don’t seem to get it? Those who would benefit from periodontal therapy but somehow never schedule the treatment or worse, ask for a prophy? The reason patients don’t accept treatment isn’t that they didn’t have the information but rather that the information didn’t speak to their feelings. Both knowledge and positive emotion are key components in motivation. This course will raise confidence and empower you to reframe your patient conversations for better treatment acceptance. Best practices in initial periodontal therapy and evidence-based standards of care will also be reviewed.

That’s Not What I Learned in School: What Successful Practitioners Do Differently
Did you learn that floss is the magic elixir preventing everything from caries to bone loss? Or perhaps you are still providing ‘routine care’ – such as prophys, fluoride treatments, and radiographs. While education provides the foundation, it depreciates over time as new research, therapies, and treatments emerge. This course will empower you to move out of your comfort zone and feel confident adopting new evidence-based strategies for everyday patient care.

Love it, Don’t Leave it: Ten Tips to Enhance Career Satisfaction
Do you ever dread going to work, feel burnt out, or daydream about a new career? Is going back to school not feasible? A great deal of our time, effort, and energies are focused on the workplace. Not being happy can flow into other areas and reduce our quality of life. There are some simply strategies that can enhance career satisfaction, make you feel more confident, and empowered to make the day and work place more enjoyable.

Seniors & Boomers: How to Treat the Most Medically Complex Generations
Does it seem like your patient population is getting older? Are many taking multiple medications? Currently, 43 million people are over the age of 65, and the number is growing daily. It is estimated that 3 in 4 in this age group suffer from 2 or more chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or COPD. Many are cancer survivors. Others will have experienced joint replacement. This course will empower you to feel confident treating those that are medically compromised or complex, experience polypharmacy, and may have some type of disability.

There is No Generation Gap Here: How to Treat Patients from Ages 8 to 98
Does it seem as though more and more patients of all ages have a complex medical history? It is estimated that 3 in 4 adults over age 65 and 1 in 15 children suffer from 2 or more chronic medical conditions. Rising rates of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle is prevalent in all age groups. It contributes to the early onset of disability and many chronic conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and asthma. This course will empower you understand and feel confident caring for all age groups.

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Yes, the Waterpik Water Flosser Removes Plaque

March 22, 2013

Seriously, you might say? That isn’t what I learned in school. The same is true for me. In fact the only thing I learned in school about oral irrigation was that it didn’t remove plaque so there was no point in recommending it. It wasn’t until I was a practicing hygienist and had a patient who had starting using it and greatly improved his oral heath that I became more informed about the product and its benefits.

Where did this idea that the Water Flosser cannot remove plaque come from? My guess is that it has to do with the word ‘water.’ In school, we learn that plaque cannot be removed by simply swishing with water; mechanical action is required. This is true, and what makes the Water Flosser different is that it utilizes pulsation and pressure to deliver the water.

A 2009 study at USC found that a three-second application of pulsating water from the Waterpik® Water Flosser set at medium pressure removed 99.9% of plaque from the treated area. The researchers concluded that the study demonstrated that the hydraulic forces produced by the Water Flosser can remove plaque from tooth surfaces.

Recently, a study found that not only does the Water Flosser remove plaque, but it does it more effectively than string floss. Subjects abstained from all oral hygiene from 23-25 hours then used a manual toothbrush and either string floss or a Water Flosser. The people who used the Water Flosser had 29% better plaque removal. Looking at the approximal area, the Water Flosser beat floss again being 29% better.

The next time your patient complains they can’t, won’t, or don’t like to floss, recommend the Water Flosser. You and they will be pleasantly surprised!


Where the Jobs are

January 23, 2013

Carol_Tammi DHCH2013 The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recently hosted its second Dental Hygiene in a Changing World Conference. In attendance were around 200 dental hygienists from all across the country; many seeking information on how transition or tap into different types of career opportunities like public health, education, corporate positions, and entrepreneurship. It was exciting to see the energy and talent in the room, and it made me feel confident about the future of dental hygiene and proud that Water Pik, Inc was a corporate supporter of the event.

The economic downturn, an influx of new dental hygiene graduates along with people staying in the work force longer has led to a scarcity of clinical dental hygiene positions. This situation isn’t likely to improve any time soon. A study on dental income published in JADA in April 2012 found that there has been a decline in average real net income for dentists due to a decrease in the utilization of dental care. The decline actually started in 2006 prior to the recession leading the authors to speculate that income may not recover to prerecession levels.

One of the conference panel members, my friend Tammi Byrd told the group that she believes job growth will come from the public health sector and other alternative settings rather than the traditional brick and mortar dental offices. This startled the audience a little and left many asking what those jobs might be.

I don’t think we know the answer to that, yet, but I’m certain that several creative, talented, and energetic dental hygienists will figure it out and lead the way. Will you be one of them?


November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November 1, 2012

Back in 2001, when I was president of my local dental hygiene component, I received a flyer from one of the local hospitals announcing a diabetes fair.  The theme was ‘Diabetes from Head to Toe’,  so, I called and asked, “who’s covering the mouth?”  Total silence followed by “no one has every contacted us about this before.”   Fortunately, they welcomed us, and that led to an invitation to exhibit at the first Diabetes Expo held at Navy Pier in Chicago. Thus began a ten year plus relationship between the West Suburban Dental Hygienists’ Society and the American Diabetes Association.

To say the event was eye-opening would be an understatement.   We met single and double amputees, people who were legally blind, and those just struggling with their diagnosis.  What many of them had in common was that they had no idea that diabetes impacted their oral health.  Many had not had a dental visit in years; and more importantly, their medical providers were not even recommending it.

What was even more shocking was the lack of knowledge that most medical professionals had in this area. One physician actually asked me why we there.  He had no idea that diabetes increased the incidence and severity of periodontal disease.

According the American Diabetes Association, 25.6 million adults have diabetes.  Nearly 11 million of them are age 65 or older.  That’s a lot of people who need our help.

It’s time to take our message out into the community.  Volunteer at a local health fair.  Contact the diabetes association in your area and see what opportunities are available.  People will be receptive to your message.  I know the volunteers from West Suburban find the day very rewarding.