Every married couple has a mystery that they grapple with, and ours was Willie Nelson.

My father-in-law was a Canadian. He gladly obtained U.S. citizenship during World War II to appease concerns about his work as a chemical engineer.

Feb 21st, 2017

My father-in-law was a Canadian. He gladly obtained U.S. citizenship during World War II to appease concerns about his work as a chemical engineer. He was 70-years-old when Willie Nelson wrote the hit song "On the Road Again" for the 1980 movie Honeysuckle Rose. My father-in-law never wore a cowboy hat before or after hearing the song, but he thought that song was one of the best ever composed during his 90 years of life. My wife and I still grapple with that mystery. Although he did some international travel during his career, his idea of being adventuresome on vacations and, later, during retirement, was primarily working on home repair projects.

We have published several articles on mobile dental hygiene in recent months. The freedom of dental hygiene to deliver care in a variety of settings over the past two decades has been a remarkable development, perhaps the most uplifting since the profession's birth. Since Willie's words are in my mind, I'd like to tweak the lyrics a bit for dental hygiene:

Just can't wait to get on the road again

The life I love is talkin' health with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again

On the road again

Goin' places that we've never been

Seein' folks that I will always treat again,

And I can't wait to get on the road again.

Technology, of course, also participates in health care's ability to open closed doors. When I read articles about telehealth, for example, I'm always impressed by the capability to effectively monitor health care from a distance. However, one thing biofilm is fond of saying to telehealth is, "You make me laugh. That little ol' webcam doesn't put the fear of dentistry in me."

But send a hygienist into these dark quarters, and biofilm simply sighs: "Uh-oh. This doesn't look good for me."

Preventive dentistry absolutely relies on the aggressive, disruptive attack of disease by dental professionals-hygienists, in particular. Unless someone develops a stealth drone loaded with debridement tools, the best choice will be to continue sending in the cavalry of dental hygienists.

I hope you feel inspired by Katie Melko's article on page 32, as well as some of the other recent articles we have published on the topic of mobile hygiene. Maybe you will baffle family members by humming "On the Road Again" upon your return home this evening.

Mark Hartley

markh@pennwell.com

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