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The evolution of Beyond Oral Health

March 1, 2021
A sister to DentalCodeology, Beyond Oral Health offers coding, CE courses, and networking, and it encourages medical-dental integration. Here's why you should check it out.

The world has changed, and how we obtain continuing education credits has adapted along with our everyday life. Virtual conferences and study clubs have replaced the in-person events that many of us miss very much. While we miss the opportunity to network in person, there are still opportunities for hygienists to collaborate and learn from the best in the industry. Beyond Oral Health is dedicated to bringing dental professionals high-level education, mastermind sessions, and the ability to network from anywhere.

When dental icon Patti DiGangi, BS, RDH, announced her retirement, those of us who know her well realized she would never really “retire.” As part of her goal toward enjoying more time with her family, she is transitioning Beyond Oral Health to Mary Jane Hanlon, DMD, a hygienist-turned-dentist in Massachusetts. Dr. Hanlon’s vision is to promote the understanding of medical and dental integration for whole health. Upon earning her dental degree, she opened her own practice, which she ran for 15 years. She is currently the dean of clinical affairs at Tufts, overseeing the undergraduate and postgraduate clinical operations for the university. Dr. Hanlon joins the already strong team of DiGangi, Lindsey Hill, BS, RDH, and Patti Beeson, RDH, to enhance Beyond Oral Health for the future.

Beyond Oral Health was created as an extension of the DentalCodeology brand that was created by DiGangi, who is regarded as the dental coding expert. She has spent years sharing her knowledge and educating dental professionals about creating metrics and correctly using CDT codes. The DentalCodeology brand also includes a series of pocket-sized books written by DiGangi that are a useful addition for daily practice and help dental professionals use specific codes correctly. The books include case scenarios and address a variety of topics, from using the gingivitis code D4910, to learning and understanding teledentistry, which is very applicable in today’s environment. While the Beyond Oral Health brand may be transitioning, the DentalCodeology brand will continue with DiGangi at the helm.

Want a change?

In nearly any dental hygiene forum on social media, there is a thread from hygienists who are looking for additional training or an alternative to clinical practice. Dental hygiene school provides us with the skills to competently treat patients in clinical practice. While we all start at essentially the same point, we grow and develop interests and focuses on particular aspects of care. Many hygienists are looking for higher education courses to enhance an already rewarding career, and they’re finding this to be a challenge. The struggle to obtain the additional knowledge necessary through a high level of training can be frustrating. Knowledge is power, and that power can enhance one’s career and lead to personal satisfaction and financial rewards.

Beyond Oral Health has offered mastermind sessions on a variety of subjects, from medical billing to new technology such as silver diamine fluoride. Beginning in 2020, there is also the option for a deep dive into topics through the digital study hall, a series of dental courses and projects to obtain a certification of completion in addition to CE credits. The current goal is to add high-level training courses that include homeopathic, holistic, and myofunctional therapy options.

Beyond Oral Health strives to create conversations that encourage integration between the medical and dental communities, which is Dr. Hanlon’s goal. It’s also something many of us have strived for our entire careers. Dr. Hanlon states, “Dentistry is another specialty of medicine.” There are forward-thinking hygienists who already provide innovative models by working in long-term care facilities, hospitals, pediatrician offices, and much more. Putting a dental professional at the point of care will help ensure that patients who are at the highest risk will have access to care sooner in the hopes of preventing or treating disease. Education is key to this success.

With the addition of Dr. Hanlon, an innovator and creator of the Women in Dentistry podcast, and with its excellent tribe of leaders, this year is destined to be a year of growth and evolution for Beyond Oral Health.

JAMIE COLLINS, BS, RDH-EA, is a practicing clinical hygienist in Idaho and Washington states. She has been in the dental field for nearly 20 years, both as an assistant and a hygienist. With a passion for patient care, especially for those with higher risk factors, she enjoys sharing the tips and tricks of the dental profession through speaking and writing. In addition to being in clinical practice, she is an educator, has contributed to multiple textbooks and curriculum development, and is a key opinion leader. Contact her at [email protected].