The end is in sight

Dec. 1, 2010
Traveling with children can be an adventure. Keeping kids contented until you reach the destination requires planning, whether traveling by plane, train, or over the road.

Traveling with children can be an adventure. Keeping kids contented until you reach the destination requires planning, whether traveling by plane, train, or over the road. Even with a well-thought-out plan, unexpected "turbulence" may make the travel uneasy. Providing activities such as personal gaming systems, movies, snacks, or travel games (without small parts that can be lost en route) can hold children's attention. Even when the trip is going as well as can be expected, do not be surprised if you hear that common question, "Are we there yet?" Remain confident that all your efforts to plan were not in vain. Remember, the end is soon in sight!

Sometimes while performing dental services, patients may similarly ask, "Are we finished yet?" As clinicians, we know there are steps we must follow along the course of the treatment plan to bring about success. At times we may be taken off course because the patient's mouth proves to be a challenge simply to reach the area we need to treat.

When the course appears dark, add some light to the environment so you can reach areas that may have been difficult to explore before. Dentsply Professional strives to shed some light by using a lighted casing. The Cavitron Steri-Mate handpiece uses a light tube off the sleeve of the Steri-Mate and illuminates when the Cavitron insert is in operation. No battery or other source of power is needed to operate it. The flexible probe light can be directed at the tip of the insert so the light can shine where it is needed most – for example, to illuminate a dark posterior area. Using the Steri-Mate reminds me of those finger cushion-type sleeves you place on a pencil or writing pen to reduce finger fatigue. You maneuver the insert as usual; it's just lighter and more ergonomically comfortable. As a low-maintenance feature, the Steri-Mate is fully autoclavable.

Another insightful option for performing dental services is an insert complete with the lighted source all in one – the Discus Dental Insight ultrasonic insert. This insert has a lighted LED ring around the finger grip that illuminates the tip's working area. The light is produced from the vibration of the ultrasonic action, eiminating the need for electricity to illuminate the LED. Not only is the Insight tip lighted, but it also has a swivel design and a unique water flow directed toward efficiency. This tip – as do all ultrasonic tips – wears with use and will need to be replaced from time to time. Do not be surprised, however, by its durability. Most likely the insert will need to be replaced before the dependable LED light source fails.

When you begin to have trouble seeing clearly into the oral cavity, try cleaning your protective eyewear with premoistened towelettes from PDI. See Clear wipes dry quickly without streaks and help prevent fog on both polycarbonate and glass lenses. The wipes come individually packaged. You can use them to clean any clinician eyewear, as well as offer them to patients when they need their specs cleaned after a spatter procedure.

Patients who have sensitive teeth may feel like there's no end in sight for relief. Try Topex ReNew to remineralize surfaces along with NovaMin and calcium fluoride in a paste. This professional-strength product fills open tubules to protect even when nutrients are lacking in saliva.

Using promising products can help you find success for the long haul.

The author did not receive compensation for products mentioned.

Karen Kaiser, RDH, graduated from St. Louis' Forest Park dental hygiene program in 1994 and currently practices at the Center for Contemporary Dentistry in Columbia, Ill. She has written several articles for RDH and other publications, sits on dental hygiene panels, and is an evaluator for Clinical Research Associates.

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