Posts

Dental team pick-me-ups during these difficult times

During the past several months, many of us have experienced changes not just in our personal and professional lives, but also to the makeup of our teams. Whether we had to furlough the entire dental staff, work on PPP loans, or rehire team members when we reopened our doors, our offices look and feel different than they did before March 2020. It doesn’t matter if your team is still intact, completely new, or a combination of both. They need to share a vision, and as office managers we are the leaders when it comes to setting the tone for our practices. First things first Now is the perfect time to revisit your practice’s mission statement. If you don’t have one, write one. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Ask your team members what their two or three main goals are for their job role and for patients’ benefit. It could be integrity, honesty, or quality care. There are no right or wrong answers. The whole point of this exercise is to get your team pointed in the right direction. Even if someone has been part of your team for five, 10, or 20 years, this serves as a great refresher to revisit the practice mission. There’s even the chance that you and the doctor might decide it needs a complete overhaul. Team spirit Times are stressful for everyone: us, our teams and their family members, and our patients. We’re living life on the edge because of the strain this pandemic has placed on every aspect of life. It could be that just getting to work on time each day is 10 times harder than before due to childcare arrangements or the needs of family members. Take time to provide small pick-me-ups to your team. Try to make work something they can look forward to each day. Here are a few easy and affordable things to try: ● Bring in coffee and donuts for breakfast. ● Leave a handwritten note for each team member to let them know how much they’re appreciated. It can be as simple as post-it notes. ● Get together to create a fun video to post on social media. (If you’re brave enough for TikTok, go for it!) Be sure to tag the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM). ● Catch up on your team’s dental needs. We tend to be the last ones to get on the schedule. Now may be the right time for cleanings or to do some same-day whitening procedures. As a bonus, you can use this time to cross-train your team. Make things as normal as possible There are a lot of unknowns right now, especially for those who have children at home who would normally be transitioning smoothly into school this fall. Do your best to keep things stable and consistent in the practice. Your team members need some normalcy. Not only that, your patients will be expecting it! Host lunch and learns With all of the information being sent our way, it can be difficult to keep up with it all. Consider contacting one or two of your trusted reps or reach out to your local AADOM chapter to find out what new guidelines or products are out there to help make our practices safer places to work and visit. Whether it’s an aerosol reduction system that’s recently been developed or discussing varieties of personal protective equipment, new products are booming due to COVID-19. When you and your team are on the same page, it’s easier to put everyone’s minds at ease. Celebrate the small stuff Finding joy in the little things can make us feel like we’re finally getting back to normal. Hang a white board or cork board in the break room and invite everyone to share their small victories. Maybe it’s finally getting a workout in again, being able to work a normal 40-hour week, or helping their kid learn how to ride a bike. Keep it simple. The boost in morale is easier when you know what to rave about. Practice self-care You may be feeling fatigued, bloated, sad, you name it. We’ve been in survival mode and are trying to make our way back toward thriving. Schedule time each day to take care of yourself. Whether it’s a warm bath, a walk outdoors in the fresh air, or giving yourself a manicure. Pop in a pair of earbuds and listen to your favorite music while you tune out the world. Refresh. Recharge. Renew yourself. It’s not that you need a special treat; it’s that you need a personal moment, period. A healthy, vibrant team requires the same in their leader. It all starts with a game plan. You can do this! refer link: https://www.dentistryiq.com/front-office/staff-relations/article/14179871/dental-team-pickmeups-during-these-difficult-times

3rd December, 2020

image caption
Skin care in the age of N95s

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for dental professionals. The N95 respirator is emerging as the new standard for aerosol protection against the smallest of microorganisms. While regulatory requirements currently do not mandate the use of these high filtration masks, many clinicians are following this recommended guideline to ensure an elevated level of facial protection. Unfortunately, for some, the regular and prolonged use of N95s has brought some pretty undesirable effects to the skin. Clinicians are now reporting higher incidences of breakouts, acne, irritation, rash, scarring, inflammation, and abrasions. Facial skin tends to be more sensitive and fragile than skin on other parts of the body and is more reactive to N95 respirators. It has been reported that 97% of frontline workers are reporting skin problems directly resulting from the use of N95s. Clinicians will likely find that their skin care routines may need some adjustments in order to sustain regular use of N95s. This article will review the anatomy of healthy and irritated skin, discuss the three primary root causes of skin irritation associated with wearing N95 respirators, and offer a guideline for skin care in the new age of personal protective equipment The three layers of skin The thinnest, outermost layer is the epidermis. This layer contacts the N95. Since it is the thinnest, it can be easily irritated and torn. The epidermis is made up of pores that communicate between the environment and the deeper layers of skin. The dermis is the next layer of skin that contains sweat glands for thermoregulation and a vascular complex to nourish the skin. Even though the dermis is thicker than the epidermis, it is still prone to irritation from environmental sources. The hypodermis is the deepest layer that contains the fatty components of skin along with larger vascular vessels. Running through all three layers is the hair follicle that can also be a communication channel for irritants. Healthy skin relies on having a clean surface, minimal irritation, and the ability to thermoregulate. When any of these factors are impacted, a person can experience any of the symptoms listed above. The regular wearing of N95 respirators places clinicians directly in the path of compromising these factors. Three sources of irritation The many skin irritations resulting from N95 respirator usage seem to fall into one or more of the following categories: The material as a contact irritant The inability to thermoregulate Exhalation contamination According to Thomasnet.com, an industrial sourcing platform and marketing company used by major manufacturers such as 3M and Honeywell, N95 respirators are constructed from nonwoven polypropylene that goes through a layered melting and bonding process known as spun-bonding.2 Additionally, masks undergo a needle-punching process in which sharp fibers are punched into the mask layers to further increase the bond strength of fibers. Sometimes, additional layers of chemical additives are used to enhance filtration characteristics. The finished product usually has an aluminum strip that allows for tighter fit across the nose. For many clinicians, the outbreaks and irritations may be caused by sensitivity to polypropylene or aluminum. While polypropylene is considered a very biocompatible plastic, those with sensitivity to it will have an adverse reaction similar to a contact dermatitis.Both materials are also capable of causing painful friction abrasions that can be slow to heal with repeated N95 use, resulting in scarring, also called frictional melanosis. Due to the tight fit of N95 respirators, the skin’s ability to thermoregulate can become compromised. In order for the body to maintain its optimum temperature, it must be able to release heat through two means: sweating and vasodilation.Since N95s are minimally porous and fit tightly on the face, the ability to release heat is greatly reduced. In a recent interview with Kasia Cichowicz (June 2020), licensed esthetician at Amazing Face in Sunnyvale, California, eccrine sweat glands in the dermis skin layer produce sweat droplets that rise to the skin’s surface to dissipate heat. “Once you start losing moisture from your skin, sebaceous glands then generate and release lipids to lubricate and waterproof the skin to prevent further water loss.” She further states that oilier skin types tend to produce more oils, which can result in acne breakouts. Water loss in drier skin types tend to result in further uncomfortable dryness and possible abrasions. Sensitive skin types lack an adequate lipid barrier, also leaving clinicians prone to these irritations. Ms. Cichowicz also points out that male skin tends to have a thicker dermis layer along with more hair follicles. These two factors make male skin more resilient to friction abrasions and moisture loss. In addition to sweating, vasodilation is another thermoregulatory mechanism of skin.Blood vessels dilate to allow blood to cool in the affected area. As blood flow in the affected area is constricted during N95 wear, the skin can turn excessively red. Clinicians with such sensitivities often report concurrent redness, flare-ups, and breakouts, according to Ms. Cichowicz. She summed up by stating that how skin reacts depends on skin type as well as water and lipid content. The last source of skin irritation with N95 use is exhalation contamination. It is common knowledge that exhaled air is filled with a variety of microbes ranging from bacteria to viruses to molds and fungi that have their origin in the mouth.10 But what happens when this exhaled air (filled with microbes) does not have an escape path while wearing a near-impervious mask for extended periods of time? These microbes remain in the airspace under the mask and can resettle on skin. The concurrent moisture from sweat and oil secretion during thermoregulation then provides a moist, warm environment for bacteria to thrive on the skin’s surface. As bacterial colonies multiply on the skin surface, acne breakouts, itching, and inflammation can occur. refer link: https://www.dentistryiq.com/covid-19/article/14184055/skin-care-in-the-age-of-n95s

2nd December, 2020

image caption
Top 5 reasons your office should consider instrument cassettes

It’s a commonly held belief that if something is effective, it’s not simple. Conversely, if something is simple, then it can’t be effective. But that isn’t always true. My Starbucks app is extremely user-friendly. And with a few taps, I can preorder my Venti Cinnamon Dulce Latte with almond milk and have it ready and waiting for me by the time I arrive. Easy and helpful! The same can be said of instrument management systems. Cassette-based instrument management systems have been around for decades and are a proven method for reducing compliance risks while increasing safety and efficiency. Yet, as the dental industry continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the area of instrument reprocessing and sterilization needs to be revisited with greater scrutiny. Just as personal protective equipment (PPE) usage and patient in-out flow have evolved, now more than ever, cassettes are the right choice for any practice. Take for example the case of Pacific Dental Services (PDS). PDS has more than 700 offices across the United States (with plans for even greater expansion) and with such a large organization, efficiency is paramount. In order to maximize productivity, while still being mindful of safety, PDS turned to their long-time partner, Hu-Friedy, to identify areas of improvement and to learn how instrument management systems could help improve efficiency and effectiveness. PDS identified two offices, one in California and one in Colorado, to see how cassettes would affect overall outcomes. They could then determine if implementing cassettes on a larger scale would be beneficial to their group. The results were, quite simply, amazing. They learned that cassettes aren’t just effective and easy to use, but that they come with a host of other benefits. Efficiency At the dental practice, every minute counts. Saving a few minutes with each procedure, with each chore, adds up over the course of the day. Since instruments don’t have to be scrubbed, sorted, or pouched manually, the PDS study revealed that each office was able to reprocess eight minutes faster than those offices doing them by hand. Eight minutes may not sound like much, however, eight minutes here and there adds up, to almost an extra hour each day, or put in another way, up to an extra month per year! Do more, save more, spend more time with each patient, and see more patients. Instrument protection Dental instruments are abundant at the practice, but they come at a steep cost. It is the price that we are willing to pay, because we want patients to get the best care via the best equipment. But we don’t want to throw away money. If you’re not careful with instruments, the price tag for their replacement can escalate quickly. By keeping instruments together, the likelihood of dulling, breakage and loss is reduced. Cassettes are useful for keeping instruments in their proper cleaning positions. From a time standpoint, staff isn’t hunting around for lost instruments or ordering replacements. From a financial standpoint, it helps practices protect their instrument investment. From a care standpoint, you don’t have to worry that the necessary tool won’t be available. link: https://www.dentistryiq.com/dentistry/products/infection-control-and-instrument-management/article/14181177/top-5-reasons-your-office-should-consider-instrument-cassettes

6th November, 2020

image caption
New RDH survey: Hygienists are questioning the use of ultrasonic instruments during the pandemic

A recent survey was conducted with the RDH community to understand the choices hygienists are making when going back into the office. When we asked, “Will you be using your ultrasonic?” the results were quite surprising, and a few were shocking. Survey results were quick to come in, with 38% of dental hygienists saying they would not be using their ultrasonic, and 34% not sure. Only 28% were a solid “yes” they would be returning to their offices to use their ultrasonic. In addition to the survey results, personal comments were numerous and provided further information and insight into the uncertainty of these times. With over 600 comments, the opinions, recommendations, and fears of the unknown were shared in each message. Read them here. Dental hygienists value providing our patients with the best standard of care and we are held accountable for using professional clinical judgement. We each went through an educational process and were required to pass testing to prove we knew what was best for ourselves and for our patients. Because of the qualities and virtues of a dental hygienist, both opinions (ultrasonic or not) must be respected, as they are both correct in their own ways. We understand the value of the ultrasonic and realize how the removal of the biofilm with vibrations, water and subgingival disruption, benefits the patient’s healing process. The standard of care has been to use ultrasonic instruments to remove biofilm and practicing without them could be considered substandard care. The patients could be concerned if they believe they are not receiving the quality of care they had become accustomed to. And there are many who will believe that not using an ultrasonic is going back in time and is not providing our patients the standard of care which is proven to be most effective. See this discussion between Debbie Zafiropoulis, RDH, and Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz on this topic. The RDH choosing to proceed with the ultrasonic may have the proper PPE and high-volume evacuation (HVE) systems to control the aerosols and have taken the opportunity to share their protocol with the internal team. The fear of aerosols is a proven, factual, legitimate concern. We must be respectful of the RDH who is concerned about the aerosols floating in the operatory. Aerosols are present for an estimated three hours after each patient treated, which is a concern for other patients and the staff transitioning throughout the operatories all day.1 Many are waiting for confirmed guidelines that will protect our patients, our team, and ourselves. We are waiting for information and research that will define what PPE is safest, while we wait for our employers to purchase them or the manufacturers to have them in stock. The RDH choosing to use hand instrumentation may not have information confirming their PPE, HVE, or defined protocols within their offices. With these two strong platforms, it has become most understandable why we have not only a difference of opinions between dentist and dental hygienist, but also among the hygiene community. We are all traveling through the unknown and each opinion is to be respected. Communication is the key The question is still lingering whether an RDH would use their ultrasonic if they had the proper PPE and HVE, and if they knew this would be enough to protect all individuals involved. We had similar fears in the mid ‘90s with HIV and AIDS. The fear of the unknown pushed some RDHs out of the operatory while many embraced the challenge and put faith in their knowledge of universal precautions and their skill sets. It has yet to be determined if similar ventures will occur within the operatory while tackling the unknown of COVID-19. There have been numerous webinars and open discussions to educate the RDH community and if you seeking additional information, you may find answers from discussions on our weekly Ask Amber live stream or watching a recent discussion between Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz and Amber Auger, RDH, in which a dentist and a dental hygienist have open communication of how each professional is looking into the future and how they can find the answers by sharing two different opinions and areas of concern. RDH magazine and our partner publication DentistryIQ have also been compiling COVID-19 resources and news. You may find ideas, answers, or knowledge you could share with your dentist. It will all come down to communication and showing respect as we embrace the new norm. To read from the source, click on the link below: https://www.rdhmag.com/covid-19/article/14175986/new-rdh-survey-hygienists-are-questioning-the-use-of-ultrasonic-instruments-during-the-pandemic

11th November, 2020

image caption
Education on the go

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Nelson Mandela once said. For previous generations, education simply consisted of going to school. People flocked to formal educational institutions for learning, as this was where hard-copy resources were collected. However, thanks to today’s technology, you can now get alternative forms of education pretty much anywhere—even in your car! And what better way to make efficient use of your commuting time than learning from experts? Enter podcasts: audio education. Thanks to podcasts, we can get a crash course on a specific topic while working on another task or driving somewhere. For dental professionals, podcasts may just be the key to upgrading and expanding crucial skills amidst time constraints and busy lives. To kickstart your learning journey, here are some important topics to explore, a few strategies to help you retain what you hear, and examples of how podcasts apply to real-life dental situations. What can you learn from podcasts? There are podcasts for almost anything you want to learn about or improve upon. For dental professionals, the following categories not only serve to refine our professional skills but can also improve the way we interact with our colleagues and clients.1 Career: Whether you’re a freshly minted dental graduate or an experienced professional, understanding how to navigate your dental career can help you get the most personal satisfaction and provide the best experience for your clients. Science & Technology: In today’s technology-infused world, dental practices need to remain up to date. Learning the advantages and risks of various up-and-coming technologies, even those of other industries, helps us design better solutions for our clients. Culture & Society: Everyone in the dental profession interacts with others. As such, it is crucial to understand how the human psyche works, how social norms drive phenomena, and how society affects the individual. Self-Improvement: If you aren’t a perfect person (and who is?), there’s something for you here. From learning how to learn, to understand what maximizes energy levels, this category helps you be the best you can be. Money: It can be tricky to juggle the mastery of dental skills and the financial side of your career. However, podcasts can help break through the overwhelm and teach you how to make the best business decisions for yourself.2 History: Dental teams are, in a way, like ancient civilizations. Although much smaller in scale, we are also groups of people trying our best to flourish. Learning from the history of the human race is a pain-free way to grasp success strategies and avoid devastating mistakes.3 How can you best retain what you hear? Knowing how pivotal podcasts can be for professional development, harnessing every opportunity to reap the benefits of listening is a must. However, the constant availability of information can make retention a struggle. These strategies may help4: Make notes: Instead of depending on a forgettable mental note to remember something important you just heard, write it down. Whether in a physical notebook or an iPhone note, jotting things down gives us a place to turn to whenever we need that piece of information again. If you’re driving, remember to wait till you’re safely parked to take your focus off the wheel. Hit the pause button: In jam-packed podcasts, every sentence could be a mind-blowing, golden nugget of information. Pausing episodes at critical points allows you to fully digest what you just heard. Otherwise, that life-changing phrase could flit in and out of your mind without you even realizing it. Find opportunities for rebuttal: Most conclusions are valid due to the presence of certain conditions. By training your mind to think critically—whether silently, verbally, or through writing—you form your own conclusions, and this thorough processing promotes information retention. Process information a second time through reading: Research shows that information is better retained when processed through multiple senses.5 After listening to a podcast episode, read through show notes, audio transcripts, or reference articles to firmly ground a topic/concept into your memory. Practical applications for real-life situations in dentistry One of the most significant benefits of podcasts is their immense practicality. The following takeaways from some of the best podcasts in the dental field are immediately applicable to our daily work: Marketing to prospective dental patients: Many dental practices get a headache thinking about marketing channels (Facebook, direct mail, etc.). What will bring new clients? Instead of focusing on the platform, a marketing agency specializing in the dental field recommends “finding an authentic message about what makes your practice different” as the best first step.6 Achieving peak performance: Interviews with dental professionals support findings showing that health is the number one factor affecting work performance.7 One episode highlights how quality sleep, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and wholesome nutrition can help us work at top capacity. Working with the millennial colleague: Compared to other generations, millennials seem to emphasize acceptance and appreciation.8 Their decisions are also more greatly influenced by social media. Knowing these priorities helps dental team leaders and other colleagues to create a better work environment for millennial coworkers. Dealing with workplace negativity: Burnout and bullying are two issues that could result in workplace negativity. On one episode of my podcast, my co-host and I provide a first-hand, insider perspective into these situations in the dental field and how we’ve gotten through them.9 In the world of dentistry, there are plenty of podcasts that provide top-notch education. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll level up. So tomorrow, while driving to your dental practice, click “play” on your first episode, and get unlimited access to this power that can change your world. To read from the source, click on the link below: https://www.dentistryiq.com/dental-hygiene/student-hygiene/article/14176692/podcasts-are-a-convenient-source-of-education-for-dentistry-professionals

11th November, 2020

image caption
6 steps to creating a successful work-life balance to achieve more productivity, less stress, and better meaning in your life journey

Do you have a good work-life balance? If you answered no, you are not alone. In fact, 66% of full-time employees in the United States do not think they have a healthy work-life balance.1 This article will be a simple how-to guide to assist you in achieving your own work-life balance. Step 1: Write down your day’s events Grab some paper and a pen. Let’s look at one day in your life. Write down what you did from the time you woke up to the end of the day. Did you like the flow of the day? What could have been better? What went well? Look at the tasks you need to accomplish in a given day. Some tasks are nonnegotiable: sleep, work, eat, exercise, family/pet time. Each of us has different personal habits and lifestyles. Keep in mind every day, week, or month may look different as you are making your work-life plan. Step 2: Plan and prioritize your tasks Look at the tasks you wrote down and determine which tasks are most important to you. Then, plan out how much time each task will require. Typically, our jobs take about 33% of our lives, and sleep is about 30%. How do you want to spend the last third of your day? Will you get a haircut? Massage? Go to a soccer game? Above all, avoid lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and bad exercise habits as they can counteract efforts to achieve work-life balance. Focus on one task at a time. When you are working, work. When you are with your family, be with them. Be respectful of your private time. Step 3: Tune out distractions and set boundaries Today’s technology can make the line between your work life and personal life quite blurry. Turn off your cell phone and laptop notifications when you’re engaged in an activity, or better yet, turn off the device altogether. When you are focused on the task at hand, you will become more productive, motivated, creative, happier, and a healthier human being.2 Make sure your third of the day is spent on what you want to accomplish. Set the boundaries. Do you keep agreeing to do things that you really don't want to do? Make sure you are filling your bucket so you can fill others’. Link: https://www.dentistryiq.com/dental-hygiene/career-development/article/14178477/6-steps-to-creating-a-successful-worklife-balance-to-achieve-more-productivity-less-stress-and-better-meaning-in-your-life-journey

2nd November, 2020

image caption
How to run an efficient hygiene exam

When I first started practicing dental hygiene, I worked in an office with four different dentists. Each dentist had a different focus for treatment. For example, one wanted to know everything about the patient’s medical history and how it related to his or her dental care, while another cared most about the risk for tooth decay and periodontal charting. I learned very quickly that if I was not prepared for the examination, I would fumble in front of the patient. The periodic examination allows us to fully collaborate with the dentist—in front of the patient. Creating an efficient hygiene examination and handoff to the dentist not only increase case acceptance, it demonstrates as value as more than a “teeth cleaner.” Get organized Before each day begins, I review all my patients’ charts. I determine when the last radiographs were taken to verify what type of radiographs they may need during their visit. I evaluate the treatment plan and conclude if there is any treatment that has been recommended but not completed. While the patient is in the chair, I follow up with a simple question: “Is there any additional information you need to complete this treatment?” The patient may have concerns about finances or how many appointments the restorative work will take. By understanding what the patient needs to complete the treatment, the team can find a solution. Another aspect of the clinical assessment that I evaluate is patients’ periodontal charting and overall history throughout their last appointments. I determine if a patient needs a full periodontal charting that day, is overdue for hygiene therapy, or needs an updated complete medical history. Reviewing the patients prior to starting your day will allow you to have better workflow and time management, which increases your control of the appointment and reduces anxiety. link: https://www.dentistryiq.com/dental-hygiene/clinical-hygiene/article/14180152/how-to-run-an-efficient-dental-hygiene-exam

6th November, 2020

image caption
Stopping tooth decay before it starts -- without killing bacteria

Oral bacteria are ready to spring into action the moment a dental hygienist finishes scraping plaque off a patient's teeth. Eating sugar or other carbohydrates causes the bacteria to quickly rebuild this tough and sticky biofilm and to produce acids that corrode tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Scientists now report a treatment that could someday stop plaque and cavities from forming in the first place, using a new type of cerium nanoparticle formulation that would be applied to teeth at the dentist's office. The researchers will present their progress toward this goal today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. The mouth contains more than 700 species of bacteria, says Russell Pesavento, D.D.S., Ph.D., the project's principal investigator. They include beneficial bacteria that help digest food or keep other microbes in check. They also include harmful streptococcal species, including Streptococcus mutans. Soon after a cleaning, these bacteria stick to teeth and begin multiplying. With sugar as an energy source and building block, the microbes gradually form a tough film that can't easily be removed by brushing. As the bacteria continue metabolizing sugar, they make acid byproducts that dissolve tooth enamel, paving the way for cavities. Dentists and consumers can fight back with products including stannous fluoride to inhibit plaque, and silver nitrate or silver diamine fluoride to stop existing tooth decay. Researchers have also studied nanoparticles made of zinc oxide, copper oxide or silver to treat dental infections. Although bactericidal agents such as these have their place in dentistry, repeated applications could lead to both stained teeth and bacterial resistance, according to Pesavento, who is at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Also, these agents are not selective, so they kill many types of bacteria in your mouth, even good ones," he explains. So, Pesavento wanted to find an alternative that wouldn't indiscriminately kill bacteria in the mouth and that would help prevent tooth decay, rather than treat cavities after the fact. He and his research group turned to cerium oxide nanoparticles. Other teams had examined the effects of various types of cerium oxide nanoparticles on microbes, though only a few had looked at their effects on clinically relevant bacteria under initial biofilm formation conditions. Those that did so prepared their nanoparticles via oxidation-reduction reactions or pH-driven precipitation reactions, or bought nanoparticles from commercial sources. Those prior formulations either had no effect or even promoted biofilm growth in lab tests, he says. But Pesavento persevered because the properties and behavior of nanoparticles depend, at least partially, on how they're prepared. His team produced their nanoparticles by dissolving ceric ammonium nitrate or sulfate salts in water. Other researchers had previously made the particles this way but hadn't tested their effects on biofilms. When the researchers seeded polystyrene plates with S. mutans in growth media and fed the bacteria sugar in the presence of the cerium oxide nanoparticle solution, they found that the formulation reduced biofilm growth by 40% compared to plates without the nanoparticles, though they weren't able to dislodge existing biofilms. Under similar conditions, silver nitrate -- a known anti-cavity agent used by dentists -- showed no effect on biofilm growth. "The advantage of our treatment is that it looks to be less harmful to oral bacteria, in many cases not killing them," Pesavento says. Instead, the nanoparticles merely prevented microbes from sticking to polystyrene surfaces and forming adherent biofilms. In addition, the nanoparticles' toxicity and metabolic effects in human oral cells in petri dishes were less than those of silver nitrate. Pesavento, who was awarded a patent in July, would like to combine the nanoparticles with enamel-strengthening fluoride in a formulation that dentists could paint on a patient's teeth. But, he notes, much work must be done before that concept can be realized. For now, the team is experimenting with coatings to stabilize the nanoparticles at a neutral or slightly basic pH -- closer to the pH of saliva and healthier for teeth than the present acidic solution. His team has also begun working with bacteria linked to the development of gingivitis and has found one particular coated nanoparticle that outcompeted stannous fluoride in limiting the formation of adherent biofilms under similar conditions. Pesavento and his team will continue to test the treatment in the presence of other bacterial strains typically present in the mouth, as well as test its effects on human cells of the lower digestive tract to gain a better sense of overall safety for patients. Story Source: Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

30th October, 2020

image caption
Coronoavirus impact on dental practices: New opportunities for RDHs and assistants

It’s no secret that the relationship between dental hygienists and dentists is strained at the moment. As the CEO of onDiem, Joe Fogg speaks about how his company is seeing both sides of the issue, and how the company is trying to serve both. The fact that the two need each other, coupled with a heightened sense of fear and anxiety, has made for a dynamic atmosphere of tension, he says. How does his company help dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants? Melissa Turner speaks to the dental hygienist point of view. She utilizes the onDiem platform, which provides jobs for the dental industry. She recommends it to her peers for a number of reasons, and she discusses them here. Editor's note: To view DentistryIQ's full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, including original news articles and video interviews with dental thought leaders, visit the DentistryIQ COVID-19 Resource Center. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, is the chief editor of DentistryIQ. Based in Salem, Massachusetts, Dr. Maragliano-Muniz began her clinical career as a dental hygienist. She went on to attend Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she earned her doctorate in dental medicine. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dental Medicine, where she became board-certified in prosthodontics. Dr. Maragliano-Muniz owns a private practice, Salem Dental Arts, and lectures on a variety of clinical topics. To read from the source, click on the link below: https://www.dentistryiq.com/covid-19/video/14177148/coronoavirus-impact-on-dental-practices-new-opportunities-for-rdhs-and-assistants

10th November, 2020

image caption
'Double the price if you watch': An analysis of why parents should or should not accompany children to their dental appointments

Editor's note: Due to COVID-19, many practices are limiting the number of patients in the office at one time. Should this also include parents when their kids are being seen? This pediatric dentist’s perspective is something to consider. As a kid my mom would drag me along when she went to the local mechanic for car repairs, to a small, dirty garage just off the scary dark alley behind his house. She didn’t trust the nice car dealers or large shops with all of their great up-to-date equipment. Plus, the local mechanic was cheap. In the garage there was a big handwritten sign with all the prices for the services he offered. At the bottom of the list, written in huge letters, was this saying: “DOUBLE THE PRICE IF YOU WATCH.” I have thought of that sign throughout my life and used it jokingly many times. But you have to ask yourself: Was he trying to hide something? Was he shy? Did he really find a problem, or was he making stuff up? Did he have a secret recipe to fixing transmissions? Who knows, maybe he just hated people hovering over him or asking silly questions about why he was doing this or that while working. All in all, it was probably frustrating for him when he knew exactly what he is doing. ALSO BY DR. CONWAY JENSEN | Behavior management considerations in the pediatric dental patient I have practiced dentistry all over the world: India, Korea, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Africa, to name a few. Parents want to be in the back with their children here in the United States. But interestingly enough, it’s not just the parents. It’s whoever brings the child to the appointment—uncle, aunt, foster parent, neighbor, older siblings, and even grandparents. Why? I haven’t found a good answer to that yet. Many papers say that parents just don’t want their children to go in the back alone. Other reasons noted are distrust of medical personnel, fear/anxiety of the child, and the parent stating that the child wants him or her with them. I won’t go over all the past articles or research papers. In the words of my past professors, “You can read that on your own.” Link: https://www.dentistryiq.com/dentistry/pediatric-dentistry/article/16365853/double-the-price-if-you-watch-an-analysis-of-why-parents-should-or-should-not-accompany-children-to-their-dental-appointments

29th October, 2020

image caption