Exciting new products for dental hygienists to discover this year
When you attend trade shows or conferences, you not only get the opportunity to network with fellow hygienists, but also to see the latest and greatest product innovations, sometimes long before they become mainstream. Here are four dental products Jamie Collins, RDH, is excited about this trade show season.
When you attend trade shows or conferences, you not only get the opportunity to network with fellow hygienists, but also to see the latest and greatest product innovations, sometimes long before they become mainstream. Here are four products Jamie Collins, RDH, is excited about this trade show season.
With RDH Under One Roof approaching, companies will be debuting and highlighting new and exciting dental products to the attending hygienists. I enjoy exploring the trade shows and visiting with vendors as much as the continuing education courses. It awards the opportunity to learn about new dental products on the market and ways to provide better treatment options to patients. As I make my travel plans, I make sure that I have the time and opportunity to cruise the shows and network with other hygienists. Here are a few new products to get excited about this trade show season:
Patients have multiple options for home care, and many find it hard to choose one product over another. As a clinical hygienist, knowing all the options available is next to impossible. One new product recently debuted in Europe that will make an introduction to the US market is the ParoSlider, an interproximal brush that retracts into the handle and is angled to allow easy access to the posterior spaces. It features a soft, not hard plastic, end, so if the gingiva is bumped by the handle, it does not hurt. The handle is ergonomic and the brushes are replaceable as needed.
I have had the opportunity to try it personally and found it easy to use. It adapts to tight interproximal spaces, including under fixed retainers, where nobody likes to floss. It’s a great choice for interproximal cleaning for patients with limited dexterity or who just don’t enjoy sticking both hands in their mouth to floss. I have many patients who don’t use traditional floss but are open to other recommendations, and this will be one tool I will have in my home care arsenal. I have tried multiple products from this Swiss company and have been impressed by the quality and workmanship of Paro.
I will recommend a power toothbrush to most of my patients—in my experience, it works better than a manual brush for the majority of the population. There are multiple choices on the market, each with a different mechanism of action and options. A new one with a different business model, Burst, is coming to the market. The founder has created this brush with charcoal bristles and an ergonomic handle that operates on sonic vibrations, 33,000 per minute to be exact.
Burst operates with a different business model, direct sales to the consumer, which brings down the cost. They are sold directly through dental professionals on a subscription basis at a cost significantly lower than the big model comparison, less than $50! As a hygienist, I like the fact the brush head replacements are automatically sent quarterly to the patient for around $6, much less than buying power brush heads in the stores. In the past, I have found it challenging to convince patients to spend close to $100 to purchase a power brush, even though it is worth every penny in the difference of oral care. Burst is currently looking for hygienists that are willing to try and recommend to their patients.
The Clip Mirror by DH Essentials
DH Essentials has created the Clip Mirror, which attaches to a saliva ejector using a spring clip and allows the ability to use a floss ligature to ensure patient safety. The mirror face is made from titanium. The mirror head attaches to the saliva ejector to allow aided vision while the saliva ejector is working to keep the field dry. This sounds great, especially when working in the molar regions. For many years I have always found it a challenge to see the molars while using the ultrasonic and holding the saliva ejector, especially with a patient that has a strong salivary flow. The developer set out to find an improved and more ergonomic way to ease the daily work tasks and alleviate strain on the body. I am guilty of contorting myself to try to have a line of vision while both hands are busy with the saliva ejector and ultrasonic.
The idea of having everything I need at once—vision and moisture control while using the ultrasonic—is enough to make a hygienist giddy. I have not tried this product personally, but have spoken with the creator on a few occasions and feel the concept, design, and materials seem to merit a closer look.
Dental Innovations patient education
Dental Innovations is changing the way that patient education is delivered, often right in the chair. Like many individuals, I am a visual learner, so the combination of audio and visual materials right on your smart phone is enticing. The company has designed and created a method to deliver education via text messaging using short educational videos that are customized to each dental practice. The patient sends a text message and is immediately sent a link with a series of videos explaining the recommended procedures using both animations and explanations. The patient can watch the videos in the office, but likely will watch at a later time to better understand the treatment recommendations. When the value of a treatment is explained and questions are answered, the likelihood of case acceptance will increase. Try it yourself—text CopperstoneDI to 33733 and see what your office may share with patients.
The longer I have practiced, the more I realize what great dental products and companies are out there creating products to make life easier and improve treatment. I’ve tried products I liked and products I didn’t—however, many I may not have discovered on my own if I had not attended meetings. Often you may not realize what you are missing unless you network with other hygienists at events and even online. Attending conferences, whether local, state, or national, allows you learn new concepts and products. I have been impressed by how many dental care workers have seen the need to improve or create products to make patient care easier and look forward to discovering new products and friends again this summer at RDH Under One Roof.
Editor's note: This article first appeared in RDH eVillage. Click here to subscribe.
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Jamie Collins, RDH, CDA, resides in Idaho with her husband, Cory, and their four children. She currently works as a full-time hygienist as well as an educator at the College of Western Idaho. In addition, she acts as a content expert and contributor in multiple upcoming textbooks. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.