Dental hygiene is so much more than ‘just cleaning teeth’

April 18, 2019
The theme for this month’s issue of RDH is rethinking the dental hygiene appointment. Traditionally, this block of time has been viewed by many as “just a cleaning.”

The theme for this month’s issue of RDH is rethinking the dental hygiene appointment. Traditionally, this block of time has been viewed by many as “just a cleaning.” Yet we know that it is so much more. For our patients, this is a time to focus on whole-body health, a time to share their feelings and concerns, and to put themselves and their dental needs first. The time we spend with our patients during their preventive care appointment is highly valuable to their long-term health and has a meaning that is constantly growing and evolving.

My article featured in this month’s issue is called “The most relaxing hour of the day: Re-envisioning the dental hygiene appointment”(page 49). In this piece, I explored the idea of how the appointment can truly be a welcomed experience for the person in the dental chair. Over the years, I have found that I have many patients who genuinely enjoy receiving care from me. In writing this article, I wanted to dispel the myth that everyone hates (or dislikes) going to the dental office. With the proper mindset and attention to comfort, I believe a hygiene appointment can be something that most people are able to look forward to.

Another aspect of redefining the appointment can involve freeing ourselves and our patients from the confines of insurance. The article by Jessica Raymond-Albritten (page 12) explains the innovative concept of dental membership plans and how it can help benefit patient care. When these plans are used, the whole question of insurance coverage becomes obsolete, and patients know that they are receiving a great deal upfront for the quality of care. Additionally, membership plans are an affordable option for people who would otherwise be uninsured.

In this month’s Ask the Authors feature (page 33), we take the idea of rethinking the dental hygiene appointment one step further and discuss products that take your appointment above and beyond. In my career, I have found that there is an amazing array of dental products available. I am always on a search to discover what will enable me to provide my patients with top-notch quality care. I also want to know what is going to save me unnecessary strain on my body. As a profession, I believe it is critical for us to share with each other, whether in person or on social media, what works and what doesn’t. We all can learn and grow together. I personally can’t wait to read this particular column and see what new products I might be able to add to my arsenal.

I sincerely hope that this issue benefits all the readers out there in numerous ways and that we can learn that there is so much more to the hygiene appointment than originally thought. Every day we can be creators of our patient’s dental care experience, and as a result of that, together we have the power over time to change the image of dental hygiene in its entirety.

Amber Metro-Sanchez, BA, RDH

RDH Editorial Advisory Board

RDH magazine was recently acquired by Endeavor Business Media from PennWell Media/Clarion Events. The transaction was part of a broader acquisition that involved a number of titles published under the PennWell name. Additional dental media acquired by Endeavor in the transaction include Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, and the Dental Academy of Continuing Education. To read more, visit—RDH editors