Oct. 4, 2010
Discus Dental gave away five Zen cordless handpieces to hygienists who wrote short essays for RDH eVillage and RDH magazine.

Discus Dental, which introduced its Zen Cordless Prophy handpiece at RDH Under One Roof conference last summer, recently gave away Zen units to hygienists who composed short essays about “my Zen thoughts” to RDH eVillage and RDH magazine.

Discus Dental wanted to now how dental hygienists would “use a portable, cordless handpiece to reach unserved or underserved individuals or communities.”

In late September, Discus identified Kim Dunlap, Cecily Fosso, Mary Jensen, Julie Towers, and Gwendolyn Wilderson as recipients of the Zen units.

Mark Gersh, director of global marketing for Discus Dental, said, “We’re thankful to the dozens of dental hygienists who took the time to present some truly innovative ideas for how they would incorporate the Zen into their dental practices. The ideas were very impressive on how the Zen would enable portability in providing care to unique patient populations, as well as increasing clinician comfort.”

To learn more about Zen, click here.

Dunlap, a Great Falls, MT, hygienist, wrote that she would use the Zen handpiece “cradle to grave” since she is involved in three community outreach programs. She provides preventive services at a high school day care center for teen parents, a rescue mission serving homeless patients, and a nursing home where she operates a dental hygiene clinic.

Dunlap wrote, “My clinic is portable, and includes a chair, dental unit, Cavitron scaler, and a specialized designed wheel chair headrest. Literally, the only piece of equipment missing is a slow speed handpiece for polishing. A cordless unit is so very convenient for use in all three settings. For example, many nursing home patients are placed in awkward positions due to medical situations. I have several paralyzed and scoliosis patients who sit at cocked positions. This cordless unit would be advantageous is such situations.”

Fosso, a hygienist in Bellingham, WA, provides preventive care to “women between the ages of 13 and 24 at a youth drug and alcohol treatment center where having the Zen cordless handpiece would be especially advantageous.” A converted construction office trailer serves as her operatories, and “power issues are fairly common.”

She wrote of the Visions Treatment program: “Clients come into the trailer parked at the site to receive education and preventive care, often for the first time or it has been at least three to five years since their last dental visit. The young women are especially appreciative of having their teeth cleaned and stains removed. The increase in self-esteem and re-commitment to taking care of their mouths is immediately apparent and one of many important first steps in recovery.”

Jensen volunteers for Alliance for Smiles, where she has participated in four missionary trips to China and Ghana in the last four years.

“The focus of these trips is cleft lip/palate surgery,” Jensen wrote. “As the team dental hygienist, I assist in getting the patients’ mouths as clean as possibly prior to surgery. I love this work! Each trip is two weeks long and we can see up to 150 surgical patients. As you can imagine, rolling blackouts were the norm in Africa. Several days we had no power. A cordless handpiece would be a dream come true!”

Towers, a cancer survivor in Fort Collins, CO, is teaming up with a colleague, Julie Chamberlain, to start a program for hospice care. She said, “Her husband is just recovering from throat cancer. She and I have so much in common with the needs of cancer patients. We are both at a point in our lives where our hearts are bigger than our wallets. And our hands would be thankful forever if they did not have to use the heavy equipment that we have to carry in and out of care facilities.”

Wilderson, who is based in Wichita, KS, suggested using the Zen while providing care at the Kansas Mission of Mercy. She has been a volunteer at the center for the past six years. “The sites are usually in large warehouses, National Guard facilities, and last year in an abandoned K-Mart building,” she wrote. “The patients are rarely seen in public, and so poor they start lining up two days ahead of time.”

Wilderson added, “This unit would be a valued treasure. I have mild to moderate carpal tunnel, and I'm hopeful this unit will alleviate some of the chronic strain on my wrists. The lightweight and balanced handpiece would reduce fatigue and wrist pain.”