Kicking the 'out of habit’

April 1, 2010
Are you practicing dental hygiene “out of habit” on autopilot? Dona Gabzdyl, RDH, BS, MBA, has the answer to help turn off the autopilot and restart your hygiene excitement.

by Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MeD, FAADH
[email protected]

Are you practicing dental hygiene “out of habit” on autopilot? Dona Gabzdyl, RDH, BS, MBA, has the answer to help turn off the autopilot and restart your hygiene excitement. Her program is called “The New Evolution in Dental Hygiene Products and Technologies: What Every Practice Needs to Know.” It introduces up-to-date products and technologies to dental professionals so that patients and practitioners can benefit from the latest information. Topics include:

  • Recognizing the problems in diagnosing decay and accessing 21st century technologies
  • Maximizing intervention dentistry/CAMBRA with treatment modalities and remineralization theories
  • Discussing periodontal disease and biofilm management
  • Understanding the use of technology in dental hygiene treatment planning and patient care

Participants who attend Dona’s program will understand treatment modalities that enhance clinical practice, develop a thought leader’s perspective on the best treatment options for patients, adopt a clinical excellence standard that will contribute to practice growth, and understand that one size treatment does not fit all in patient care.

Dona presents programs on new products and technologies because of the quantity of information available to the average hygienist. The typical hygienist is bombarded daily with information, especially on periodontal therapies and remineralization, so it is often difficult to determine which product or procedure is best for any one patient. Dona has sifted through the information to provide a comprehensive educational experience. Patients are more knowledgeable than ever about products and procedures, including CAMBRA. Dental professionals cannot be complacent about information because knowledgeable patients will complain and find other alternatives.

On a personal note, Dona has suffered from sinusitis and ear infections her entire life. She endured two ear surgeries, with the latest in 2008. Since then, she has incorporated xylitol into her regimen, and wants to share her experiences on the benefits of xylitol in both oral and systemic conditions. She shares her experiences and research on the oral benefits of xylitol with nursing home administrators, nurses, and other medical providers to help educate and manage the caries disease process.

A dental assistant since high school, Dona got a late start into formal education. After the birth of her second son, she returned to school and attended the dental hygiene program at William Rainey Harper College. She received her BS in health-care leadership from National-Louis University, and a few weeks after graduating started the MBA program at Baker College. Her MBA concentration in health-care management drove her to become a dental practice management consultant and president of her own company called Strategic Practice Consultants, Inc. She began presenting CE programs after attending a CareerFusion program.

Dona is the Illinois delegate to ADHA and a member of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene (AADH).

She is passionate about her family, traveling, and camping. If she were not a hygienist who loves clinical hygiene, she would be a dentist in a true preventive practice, utilizing DNA and saliva testing to the highest level to prevent and manage oral disease as a whole body disease. She believes dentistry needs to be proactive in prevention rather than reactive in treatment.

As dental professionals, she believes that hygienists must be dedicated to achieving clinical excellence in this struggling economy and beyond. She challenges hygienists to take personal responsibility, to think long and hard about doing things the way they’ve always been done, and to take the challenge and evolve their dental hygiene practice into the 21st century.

For more information on Dona’s program, e-mail [email protected].

Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and a member of ADHA and other professional associations. Ann-Marie presents continuing-education programs for hygienists and dental team members and has written numerous articles on a variety of topics. She can be reached at [email protected].

More RDH Articles