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An educator’s recommendations

Oct. 19, 2022
Marie Richey, a dental hygiene educator, discusses her three recommendations for creating a stable foundation for ergonomics and growth in her students.

This month’s product recommendations are brought to us by Marie Richey, a dental hygienist of 24 years and a dental hygiene educator of seven years. Marie holds a master of science in dental hygiene and is an assistant professor at Shawnee State University. She teaches dental anatomy, head and neck anatomy, public health, periodontology, nutrition, and participates in clinical teaching.

If all that did not impress you, Marie is also a 2021 American Dental Hygienists’ Association Mars Wrigley grant recipient! Marie’s recommendations focus on her experience as a dental hygienist and as an educator attempting to create a stable foundation for ergonomics and growth in her students. Her top three recommendations are the ErgoFinger, Ambience PPE Loupe Shield, and Designs for Vision loupes.

Aerosol reduction, ergonomics, and safety

Marie’s first recommendation is the ErgoFinger, a product her students actively use in clinic. The ErgoFinger is a disposable, finger-attached, high-volume evacuator (HVE) used for aerosol reduction during dental treatment. Instead of holding a cumbersome high-volume suction while scaling, the ErgoFinger attaches to the clinician’s finger, allowing the evacuator to move with the clinician. The wearable HVE has a bore size of 11 mm, qualifying it as an aerosol-reducing device, and a 360-degree rotating nozzle, allowing the provider to manipulate the HVE.

Marie appreciates the ErgoFinger because it “helps to suction and does not feel awkward.” Ease of use is a valuable aspect of this product, especially for students. ErgoFinger claims their product “reduces poor posture strain” and does not require “harmful repetitive ‘pinch grip’ and simultaneous awkward twisting of the wrist, allowing a more neutral wrist position.” Truly innovative, the ErgoFinger also has an adjustable nozzle, allowing the length of the nozzle to be manipulated, which increases proximity of the HVE to the aerosol production site.

Clear as day

The Ambience PPE Loupe Shield was recommended to Marie by one of her students, and it is now clear to her that there is no other product that competes. Voted the best product of the year four times, the Ambience Loupe Shield has been described as the Tesla of face shields, combining modern technology with functionality.

Invented by a father-son team, one a Dyson engineer and the other a dentist, the Ambience face shield uses Nano Surface Technology to create a virtually zero glare face shield. What makes this face shield unique is that not only is it scratch resistant and provides 10x less light reflection, but it also adapts to every practitioner’s needs. Its three inches of frontal adjustment allows the Ambience Loupe Shield to adapt to all loupes. The adjustable headrest allows practitioners to adjust the tightness around the head, thus eliminating fatigue and tension against practitioners’ heads.

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Ambience is so confident in their product that they provide a 45-day money-back guarantee. Marie also believes this product helps students with their posture by providing clear and stable protection. The best testimonials we’ve found for Ambience PPE Loupe Shield are from practitioners who have forgotten that they were wearing a shield. That is how clear it is!

Better visibility and posture

We all know loupes provide better visibility, but what makes Designs for Vision different from its competitors, and why does Marie recommend Designs for Vision to her students? For one, Designs for Vision offers a wireless light option, eliminating those wretched wires that often get caught on doorknobs. Designs for Vision also has the Infinity VUE loupes that provide a “straightforward approach to ergonomics.”

The VUE (Vision Up Ergonomics) loupes “keep your chin up, neck straight, and your eyes forward.” Marie has seen firsthand Designs for Vision’s ergonomic claims. “I see better posture and more ease in seeing in those students who use loupes vs. those who do not.” If you haven’t tested out their loupes, Marie recommends you visit their booth next time you are at a trade show. 

For more educator tips, follow Marie on Instagram @toothprof.

The manufacturers mentioned in this article are financial supporters of RDH magazine.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the October 2022 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

About the Author

Amber Lovatos, BSDH, RDH

Amber Lovatos, BSDH, RDH, “The Latina RDH,'' is the founder of Latin RDH and the host of Un Cuento de Dos Higienistas podcast. She has been compassionately blazing trails personally and professionally for more than 10 years. As a clinician, educator, author, and champion for public health issues, she inspires industry colleagues with unique stories that include triumph over abuse and being first-generation college graduate. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @thelatinardh and @dentalhygienespark.