From the big TV screen mounted on the ceiling above the patient, to the awesome swag travel bag handed to the patient on the way out, it’s safe to say that Debra Viger, BHS, RDH, is proud of the absolute comfort her operatory offers her patients. Drs. Kay Henry and Amanda Henry, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, provide the latest in technology and comfort in order for Viger to help her patients completely relax while she provides thorough dental hygiene treatment.
Personal patient comfort is offered during each visit in many different ways. “We offer neck pillows for comfort and blankets if a patient is chilled, as well as a fully stocked beverage fridge with healthy snack options, plus the usual coffee and tea. For those patients who are extremely stressed, we offer a prescription of Xanax if they have someone to drive them home,” Viger said.
One of Viger’s favorite features is the big TV on the ceiling. “I love the big screen mounted above the patients,” she said. “During hygiene appointments we offer serenity nature videos, which are a great distraction and conversation starters, but they’re not intrusive enough to interfere with hygiene education. We can also put radiographs or intraoral photos on the screen for patient education. For restorative treatment we have several hundred videos or Netflix for patients to choose from, and we offer noise-cancelling headphones. The option to tune into a movie while wearing noise-cancelling headsets has been a huge relaxer that I offer during very long scaling and root planing appointments.”
Viger says that the office has individual iPads for patient education or educational videos. “The iPad in each operatory offers a dental program we subscribe to that easily demonstrates most dental treatment, but I use mostly the perio probe and recurrent decay videos.”
Viger chooses the products she uses during treatment that help increase patient comfort. “Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive toothpaste has been a total game changer. It has arginine, and as a preprocedural polish, it has made our sensitive patients so much happier. It’s also a super affordable solution to a common issue. I keep two tubes of Rapid Relief in every op for any patients who are experiencing sensitivity. I put some on a 2x2 and apply with the disposable prophy angle, polishing each tooth prior to using the Cavitron or hand scaling for long-lasting desensitization. We ask our patients with smartphones to take a quick photo of the tube so they can purchase it for home use as well. I also recommend trying it before whitening as it is really helpful!
“I love the Colgate raspberry fluoride varnish, which is super thin with a light taste, and it’s barely felt 15 minutes after application. The new GUM brand EasyThread floss is exquisite; one end for maxillary ortho wires and the other for the mandibular. It fits in almost anywhere, and it’s thin yet stable enough to fit through most areas. We have an amazing lip balm; no more cracks and dry lips during or after treatment, but especially before and after the Prophy-Jet. (Note: I was instructed not to use lip balm when using the laser, so apply after.) After the Prophy-Jet, we use one of our lemon-scented towelettes to remove overspray from a patient’s face and lips.
“Most of our patients use the Sonicare electric brush, which I love. Some use the Oral-B electric brush. We dispense the Colgate Slimsoft brush imprinted with our name and number. We offer a variety of toothpastes—whitening, plain, and desensitizing—and floss, all in our great imprinted, reusable, take-home travel bag. We have mouth rinse and small disposable cups on the counter if a patient wishes to rinse, and of course we make tissues available.”
It’s important for a hygienist to be comfortable as well, and Viger is very enthusiastic about her loupes. “I am loving my new Orascoptic loupes. They’re light, with amazing clarity, and a total game changer for my posture! We all use professionally sharpened instruments from Paragon Surgical in Marengo, Illinois, which means so much less hand fatigue, plus we Cavitron extensively as needed. We use a Prophy-Jet for all those who like it and Isolite as needed to help provide extra light, increased suction, and patient comfort for scaling and root planing appointments and sealants.”
Viger says laser treatment has been showing great results during the year that the staff has been using it. “Our Picasso Lite diode laser is an amazing addition to the op. I love the ease of use and the swift results; patients are impressed with the comfort and it makes me feel like a superhero. I use the Dental R.A.T. foot mouse to enter perio probings into the computer, as well as for use with the intraoral camera. I’m a few weeks into trying full sets of the American Eagle no-sharpen instruments, and I’m learning to enjoy the smooth feel of scaling. I’m also using the new Hu-Friedy titanium implant scalers, which are lovely at adapting to the tissue.”
Viger’s enthusiasm for providing every type of comfort to her patients makes her proud of her practice and proud of her op! Thank you for the tour!