A closer look at the skin

Dec. 18, 2014
As dental professionals, patients look to us to educate them about their oral health. Today our roles have expanded to include oral-systemic health education. Patients visit the dental office more than any other health professional, and our evaluations should encompass the total patient. Head and neck cancer screenings are a standard of care for dental hygienists.


As dental professionals, patients look to us to educate them about their oral health. Today our roles have expanded to include oral-systemic health education. Patients visit the dental office more than any other health professional, and our evaluations should encompass the total patient. Head and neck cancer screenings are a standard of care for dental hygienists.

But are you aware that cosmetic skin evaluations can also be performed in the dental practice? Lisa Dowst-Mayo, RDH, BSDH, features a two-part program specifically designed to assist dental professionals in adding cosmetic skin evaluations to the dental hygiene appointment. With her featured courses, "Want to Find the Fountain of Youth? - Call Your Dentist, Not Your Dermatologist," and "Today's Special: Teeth Cleaning with a Side of Botox," Lisa delves into the cosmetic world and unites dentistry with cosmetic evaluations.


Other articles by DePalma


In the first part of her daylong program, which is the Fountain of Youth component, Lisa discusses skin physiology and chemistry and how they affect one's appearance. She reviews how dentistry is linked with dermatology, and she teaches participants dermatological pathology in depth while enhancing the oral cancer screening process.

The second half of the program, which is Today's Special, discusses how dental spas are integrating evidence-based dentistry with evidence-based dermatology. By reviewing antioxidants, nutrition, and overall health and wellness, Lisa unlocks the knowledge and information that hygienists already possess about skin care maintenance and prevention. Whether hygienists want to learn about reversing the signs of aging for themselves or their patients, this program discusses everything from cleanings to Botox, with a fun mix of pathologic and cosmetic conditions and procedures. However, the purpose of the program is to educate dental professionals about dermatological conditions so that better identification and referral to the appropriate specialists can be achieved.

The objectives of Lisa's program include:

• Review of basic skin anatomy and physiology

• Integrating a systematic approach to intra- and extraoral cancer screenings to scan all aspects of the head and neck region

• Discussion of the chemistry and biology behind aging and ailing skin, including free radicals, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, and their detrimental effects on the human body

• Review of UV exposure, whether from sun or tanning beds, along with current information on protective agents approved by the FDA, including sunscreens and antioxidants

• Define common intra- and extraoral conditions of the head and neck and discuss current treatment options

• Expand the clinician's knowledge of antioxidants and nutrition and their role in skin care, maintenance, and disease prevention

• Discuss and define the concept of the dental spa and its role in dentistry

This month's INeedCE.com course is "Effective and Productive Instrument Processing."

RDH readers can receive a 50% discount when using the code ANDEC14. Regular fee is $49, with discount $24.50. Valid through Jan. 23, 2015.

Effective and Productive Instrument Processing

In order to meet the challenges of safety, time management, and asepsis, the dental health care provider must have a plan for infection control, including the use and care of dental instruments and disposables. Following the basic CDC guidelines can help significantly reduce the risk of microbial transmission. After a patient is dismissed, the operatory must be prepared for the next patient, including the treatment of surfaces and instrument processing. There are a variety of methods available to properly reprocess instruments. Choosing a system that minimizes risk, maximizes productivity, and preserves instruments is essential.

• Review cosmetic and treatment procedures performed for skin conditions in the dental spa

• Discuss oral cancer rates, statistics, and recent updates

Hygienists will be interested in this program because it reviews a broad subject matter that many may not have been exposed to. Yes, hygienists have taken numerous oral cancer screening courses, but the cosmetic component may have been missing. By providing a broad overview, Lisa focuses on comprehensive patient care rather than on a specific disease or topic.

Additionally, by moving beyond the oral cavity, the course presents new avenues for dental professionals to consider while providing thoughts for career enhancement. Since dentistry is not a solo profession, other team members will benefit as well. Imagine the spectacular level of service, education, and patient care that can be achieved when the entire team is on the same page regarding patient recommendations and treatment.

In addition to the all-day cosmetic program, Lisa presents several other programs as well. "It's Time to Talk about Sex in Dentistry - HPV and Its Link to Oral Cancer" combines the dental and medical perspectives with both an RN and RDH discussing the HPV link to oral cancer. "Why Won't He Sit Still? Because He Can't!" explores the world of ADHD and how dental professionals can treat those affected by it. "Lasers and the Mouth - Exploring the Next Frontier" reviews lasers in dentistry and how the technology is changing the way we help patients and improve office productivity.

Lisa has always believed in comprehensive patient care. After 10 years of full-time private practice, she tired of hearing patients say, "That was the most thorough dental appointment I've ever had." Hearing this did not make her happy or proud, but sad. She couldn't understand why other dental professionals were not rendering the same type of care. What were others not doing for these patients?

Lisa's dermatology course reminds clinicians to slow down and take a second look at their patients' skin, oral cavity, and habits. This emphasizes preventive care, presents the newest research trends in patient care, and provides patients with the highest level of comprehensive dental care.

Lisa attended Texas State University with a biology major and chemistry minor. She never completed the program, but instead attended Baylor University's College of Dentistry's Caruth School of Dental Hygiene for her BS in dental hygiene. She recently enrolled in a master of education program and is a dental hygiene professor at Concorde Career College in San Antonio.

Her programs are presented in PowerPoint with lots of audience participation, and she uses hands-on activities to enhance the programs where appropriate. She enjoys the personal stories, experiences, and questions that participants provide to enhance the learning experience for all.

She found her niche regarding public speaking while in dental hygiene school as class president. Meeting many influential people there, Lisa was able to gain their attention with her wit and humor. This led to freelance writing for a number of dental hygiene publications, including RDH magazine. Her writing has brought attention to her topics, and she began presenting many CE courses.

Her convictions in life are to lead her life as her God finds pleasing. She loves her family, country, profession, and all of mankind. Lisa describes herself as honest, confident, and loyal, and she has always been a member of ADHA. She has never understood why someone would not want to support the organization that is trying to better the profession. Nothing concerns her about dental hygiene; what is there to be concerned about with a profession that is built on the service, care, and advocacy of others? When you really believe in something, you never worry about its future.

Lisa became involved in dental hygiene by a threefold process. First, her boyfriend at the time was going to dental school and encouraged her to consider dental hygiene. Second, she was financially strapped because she was supporting her mom and two sisters. Knowing that dental hygienists made more money right out of school than nurses, dental hygiene appealed to her. Third, since she was about graduate with a biology degree and no idea what to do with it, she switched to dental hygiene.

She feels that her silly, young, naïve decisions added up to be the best move of her life. Her mom teases her that she picked the right profession since she loves to talk and has a captive audience in patients with their mouths open! Additionally, Lisa has had the opportunity to start her own CE business with two colleagues. She co-owns Diamond Dental Education and provides AGD-accredited courses.

Lisa is grateful for all of her experiences in dental hygiene. She believes God has a plan for each of us and He has led her to exactly where He wants her to be. Leading others down similar paths to enhance their professional and personal lives is a role that Lisa is well suited for.

For more information on Lisa or her programs, visit www.lisamayordh.com.

Thought for the month:

"Celebrate what you want to see more of." Tom Peters

Wishing RDH readers happy holidays and all the best in 2015! RDH

ANN-MARIE C. DEPALMA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, as well as a continuous member of ADHA. She presents continuing education programs for dental team members on a variety of topics. Ann-Marie is collaborating with several authors on various books for dental hygiene and can be reached at [email protected].