July 16, 2010
A positive perspective can bring about a whole new set of positive solutions and products that you and your team may not have known about.

by Karen Kaiser, RDH

When the dental team has a difference of opinion about adding or replacing products, don’t be surprised when they look to you for educated input regarding change. Look at the office’s current selections from a positive standpoint and decide which tools or products are working well, and what deletions and improvements would benefit the patients and practice.

Product selection for office use is important and can be overwhelming. A positive perspective allows creative thinking. Find out if something new and improved has been added to your favorite product line. Figure out what has worked and add products that will bring positive and updated solutions.

Patients are uncomfortable when they have hypersensitive surfaces, and they may not even know the dental office can offer a solution. In the past many patients just dealt with discomfort because they were afraid to let us know about their need due to fear of treatment. Thankfully, there are many upgraded topical products that can soothe surfaces.

Dentsply Professional offers a solution to hypersensitivity with the added ingredient NovaMin. Nourishing Novamin is ionic minerals of calcium and phosphates that replace lost minerals when teeth become demineralized. Nupro NU Solutions 5000 ppm fluoride toothpaste is a prescription strength treatment that can be used in office application using a prophy cup or swab application to occlude hypersensitive tubules, then by the patient as a remineralizing therapy at home daily.

Irrigation is beneficial. Patients accustomed to cleaning with a water jet will welcome the advances made in the Waterpik product line. Going cordless, the handheld Ultra Water Jet is ergonomically designed, and has an easy-to-fill reservoir in the handle that saves space by not sitting on a tabletop. Tissues can be massaged with the water stream, which may improve circulation to the tissues and improve gingival health. The orthodontic tip can be recommended to maneuver around tough to clean hardware and ties. The unit washes away debris and can be used to dispense professionally recommended solutions.

Break out of the routine

It can be intimidating to select a hand scaler different than what you are accustomed to using. After all, the familiar (maybe even the type supplied from hygiene school) is comfortable, and using something different may put you in a predicament, especially when you’re faced with using a tool you find hard to grasp and use.

Hu-Friedy has popular curved anterior scalers called the Nevi. The SCNEVI1 features a familiar sickle (super slim) on one end, and a rounded disc end for push/pull stain and calculus removal in the lingual aspect of the tooth. Choose your handle in steel or resin, or in their gripping Colours line.

PDT Dental has the Montana Jack scaler. This color-coded (sunshine yellow) solid resin handled scaler is lightweight and allows for excellent tactile feel. Available in regular or rigid, the blade is long-lasting (even with a great deal of use between sharpening). The Montana Jack’s angled edge allows for great torque and interproximal adaptability. Try these instruments to remove anterior region calculus.

Dental hygienists have valuable solutions for products in the office. A positive perspective can bring about a whole new set of positive solutions and products that you and your team may not have known about. Whether a new desensitizing medicament, oral irrigator, or instrument, when you appreciate what is good in a situation, you can learn about ways to bring about positive product introductions for the future. Select products in the spirit of seeking something better.

The author did not receive compensation for products mentioned.

Karen Kaiser, RDH, graduated from St. Louis’ Forest Park dental hygiene program in 1994 and currently practices at the Center for Contemporary Dentistry in Columbia, Ill. She has written several articles for RDH and other publications, sits on dental hygiene panels, and is an evaluator for Clinical Research Associates.