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The top 15 hygiene articles of 2013 (so far)

July 31, 2013
The top 15 articles on hygiene from DentistryiQ in the first half of 2013 focus on the state of the dental hygiene profession, tricky situations hygienists sometimes find themselves in, and clinical articles.

July 31, 2013

15. Thursday Troubleshooter: Piercings and tattoos on dentaloffice employees

A dental assistant instructor wonders if times are a-changing or if she should keep advising her students to display a more “professional” look and avoid things like tattoos and piercings. Our experts assert that, whether we like it or not, people judge our appearance. A professional appearance, says one expert, will help young professionals “rise through the ranks.” As with any controversial subject, the reader comments on this one are worth a look.

14. Barrett’s esophagus to esophageal adenocarcinoma: Are you at risk?

RDH contributing writer Maria Perno Goldie covers the topic of esophageal cancer, the seventh leading cause of all deaths from cancer worldwide. It’s important to keep the progression of esophageal adenocarcinoma at bay by being aware of its premalignant lesion, Barrett’s esophagus.

13. Creating productive dental hygiene departments via the power of probing

Have you ever treated a patient after they’ve seen the doctor and heard “all is fine,” only to discover early periodontal disease? Stop being the victim of an awkward situation and conduct a comprehensive periodontal evaluation first.

12. Inflammation of the gingiva: The other reasons besides the obvious

Bleeding may be a result of bacterial-induced gingivitis or periodontitis, or it could be desquamative gingivitis. Read more about how to identify and treat it here.

11. Health effects of e-cigarettes

Because of their resemblance to real cigarettes, electronic cigarettes are gaining popularity as more people try to kick the habit. But are these replacements as safe as we think, or is it better to go cold turkey?

10. Some final thoughts about the fairness of pay raises awarded to dental hygienists

Eighty-one percent of dental hygienists don’t believe that pay increases occur at fair intervals, and many believe that every other position in the office is favored over the hygienist when it comes time to give pay raises. RDH editor Mark Hartley analyzes the responses from the most recent RDH eVillage Job Benefits survey. Check the reader comments on that page for more information.

9. Job benefits survey, part 3: Vacation until you get sick

As Mark Hartley says, “Roll out the birthday cake.” Nearly half of all respondents to the above survey said they would choose to have their birthday off over any other remaining holiday. Check out this article to find out what other holidays hygienists aren’t getting paid time off for.

8. The timing of pay raises in dental hygiene

Nearly half of all hygienists who responded to the survey above have not received a raise since 2008. Nine percent said they had never received a raise – and that’s not counting the 3% who said the question wasn’t applicable since they hadn’t held their current position long enough to qualify. More than half of the hygienists who work three or more hygiene jobs haven’t received a raise in the last five years. Hop on over to the article to find out who’s getting paid what – and why.

7. Job benefits for dental hygienists: Part 2

One survey respondent wrote “[Dental hygiene] is a career I would no longer be interested in since it is not a career in most dental settings. It is best as a part-time job. … The pay is good if you work five days a week, but don’t expect any great benefits other than the pay.” Let’s see what else is lacking.

6. Survey: Dental hygienists scramble for health insurance

What does it mean that half of dental hygienists receive health insurance through a family member, rather than through their job? We have a breakdown of who’s covered by generation. Also, there are a ton of reader comments over here by your fellow hygienists: I suggest checking out that conversation.

5. RDH Infection Control columnist: Reassure patients of your safety procedures

Earlier this year, the news of an oral surgeon’s office likely being responsible for transmitting diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV got the nation buzzing. Patients started asking more questions and getting even more hesitant to visit the dentist. Here’s how to have your plan of action in place when your patients inevitably ask what you do to protect them.

4. No bad dentist jokes allowed. Here are Hollywood’s 25 best lines about oral care

Perhaps editor Mark Hartley understood that the hygiene industry needed a little comedic relief after the results of the job benefits survey were published. Here are his 25 favorite lines about oral care, featuring pop culture hits like Leave It To Beaver,Forrest Gump, Seinfeld, and even House.

3. Pay raises in dental hygiene: A national overview

The most popular hygiene survey article is here: this time, hygienists explain who’s to blame for lack of recognition in the dental office. Apparently, it’s as much the economy as it is stingy employers. Another informative conversation is taking place here in the reader comments.

2. Why dental hygienists require special exercise

“Because dental hygienists are predisposed to unique muscle imbalances, all exercise is not necessarily good exercise for dental hygienists.” Get on your work-out gear and head on over to see what to do to keep your back straight and tummy tight.

1. Fact sheet: Dental calculus

A fascinating and informative read about the calculus that resides in our mouths, how to manage it, and where it came from. What’s most interesting about the article, however, may be the reader comments that follow, including one from a dentist and three from people who have excellent oral health and don’t brush their teeth. Go check it out.

Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.