About the cover

Jan. 1, 2006
We put on a new outfit for this issue. Nothing too fancy.

We put on a new outfit for this issue. Nothing too fancy. We just wanted to look different for the 25th anniversary issue. After all, with the exception of a few “accessories,” RDH has pretty much looked the same for the past three years. So it was time to get decked out with new fonts and point sizes. The columns, which typically have the same appearance in every issue, were changed up a bit.

Can you take a picture of us in our new outfit? We hope you don’t feel like you’re “wasting film” in complying with that request. In fact, I hope you like the new look too.

One of my two dogs is not photogenic at all. She has this wild, demonic look for the camera, appearing to be the first of a new species of something discovered deep in the forest. The other dog looks like a poster child for anyone considering adopting a dog. She holds her head high with a gentle, friendly look that says, “I must remember to ask my master to edit my book on photographing dogs.” One dog’s photo is shown to acquaintances at Christmas. We unearth photos of the other one for Halloween.

We thought a lot about the cover, as you know. We asked in this space last summer if anyone had any ideas about what we should do for the 25th anniversary cover. Readers had lots of good ideas.

We thought about the caps and uniforms hygienists were still wearing in 1981 (see the “hats” on page 12). We thought about what hygienists wear now, as well as the professional garb of the future. We thought about the limited career options in dental hygiene 25 years ago. We thought about how it’s a different ballgame out there today.

So we deliberated on the cover, and California kept coming to mind. Throughout RDH’s history, California has been on the forefront of dental hygiene. The good news is many other states have caught up with, and, in some cases, even surpassed California in terms of scope of practice. One logical reason is that California dental hygienists have often fought wearisome battles with bureaucracy to set the higher standards for patient care.

I don’t want to necessarily make California dental hygienists sound like martyrs, but I thought it would be nice to just say “thanks” for all they have done for the profession.

Plus, it’s still hard to think of futuristic dental hygienists without thinking of California’s RDHAP (registered dental hygienist in alternative practice) program. We then contacted the University of Pacific for some names of recent graduates.

Nanci Nottage’s name surfaced, and, voila, there she is on the cover. The Walnut Creek, Calif., dental hygienist graduated from UOP’s RDHAP program in 2004 (she is a 1999 graduate of the state’s dental hygiene program at San Joaquin Valley College).

As is the case with most RDHAPs in California, Nanci was inspired by a need in dental care after visiting with elderly residents in various facilities.

“I saw a need for dental hygiene services while visiting with residents, since most of them were not able to travel and be seen in dental offices,” Nanci said. “I decided to enroll in the RDHAP program so I could provide services for these individuals. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with the elderly.”

She currently works in private practice a few days a week, and devotes a few days a month to her mobile dental hygiene business, Healthy Smiles.

Naturally, RDH magazine believes the profession has been blessed by pioneers such as California’s RDHAPs. We can’t think of a better way to salute the innovative spirit of dental hygiene as the magazine celebrates its anniversary. We’re delighted to be a part of the profession, and we look forward to the next 25 years. RDH