Stephen Curve

Advancing our understanding of oral and systemic health

Feb. 3, 2015
Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, updates her readers on what's new in the dental profession in February 2015: National Children's Dental Health Month, Dental EZ TruSim, and more.
The Stephen Curve
As we begin the a new year, we look forward to change and innovation, while reflecting on the past. As dental hygienists, we focus on prevention. I would also like to think that most of us practice evidence-based care. While our professional judgment is critical and a part of evidence-based decision-making process, we should always look to the science. We won’t always agree, but I would hope that we could have intelligent discussions in a respectful manner. I am sometimes appalled at what I read on social media sites —everything from inappropriate office posts, bad language, and recommendations based on nothing but personal opinion. Be careful what you post on social media!
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country. (7) Visit the website for resources. In keeping with this theme, February is about helping children throughGive Kids a Smile. (8) There is a Program Planning Toolbox that is a resource for veterans, individual dentists or those who are new to the program. The guide includes a step-by-step timetable on how to plan an event, how to promote your event to the media and what legal issues may arise.

On to practice issues. Violence is a huge social problem, affecting people from all stages of life. In 2010, over 16,250 people were victims of homicide, and over 38,360 took their own life. Many others survive violence and are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. Violence also wears down communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services. Click here to read more about violence prevention and how we can help. You can also download Enhancing Dental Professionals’ Response to Domestic Violence. (1) Remember, 75% of the physical injuries are to the head, neck, and/or mouth. (1) Another article, available free of charge, is What Victims of Domestic Violence Need from the Dental Profession. (2) The Academy of Dental Learning & OSHA Training has a CE course of 2 credit hours, Domestic Violence: Updated 2012. (3)

Thank you Shannon Nanne for “The magic of pH”. We know that pH balance is critical to health, especially oral health. Existence depends on correct pH levels in and around living organisms and cells. Human life needs a closely controlled pH level in the serum of about 7.4, a slightly alkaline range of 7.35 to 7.45, to survive. (4) The Stephan Curve describes the change in dental plaque pH in response to a challenge. (5) One of our jobs is to help patients keep their pH at an optimal level.

The Dental EZ TruSim Clinical Practice Simulator

Topics like periodontal diseases and diabetes are ever changing, so frequent updates are necessary. Click here for an update on periodontitis, and here for an update on diabetes. In other interesting news, DentalEZ Group introduced the DentalEZ TruSim Clinical Practice Simulator. Intended for dental students, TruSim is designed realistically, and students are able to practice dental procedures as though they are in a true clinical operatory setting, thoroughly preparing them for real-life dental practice.


Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, is the editorial director of RDH eVillage FOCUS.

2. Nelms AP, Gutmann ME, Solomon ES, et al. What Victims of Domestic Violence Need from the Dental Profession. Journal of Dental Education April 1, 2009 vol. 73 no. 4 490-498.
4. Waugh A, Grant A. Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness. 10th edition. Philadelphia, Pa, USA: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007.