I can’t tell you how many times patients have asked me if I make “house calls.” I’m sure most of you have had similar requests. On one hand, it’s a compliment. On the other hand, I hear it as a cry for help. I feel patients are really saying, “Please come home and help me, because I can’t remember/can’t do this by myself, and I want to be compliant.”
As much as patients want to comply with the home care regime we’ve prescribed, the truth is that they walk out the door and forget. Even suggestions written down on paper are lost within days. Once the information is forgotten, the motivation is lost, and the patient is no longer confident in what they should be doing.Should We Use Water For An Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine? for more information.
Instead of being excited about returning for their next recall appointment, they are not. Noncompliance can mean active infection, which translates into uncomfortable scaling and possibly a conversation about why things look the way they do. It’s a lose-lose for both patient and hygienist.
Some patients will take initiative to research some of those golden nuggets of knowledge. They do what we all do and search the web, which can be helpful if the patient remembers the technique or tool you wanted them to use. But your instructions could also differ greatly from the information found online, defeating your efforts to help improve their oral health.
This is where mobile technology can be of service. The invention of the “mobile app” as it pertains to the nongaming world has changed the way we interact with one another and do business. I like to think of them as self-contained digital storage units that live on our mobile devices dental equipment. It houses a multitude of business specific information and services, thus eliminating the need for web searches and other time-consuming functions. Implementing this technology into a dental setting is a great solution for making sure patients can effortlessly access the correct information, instructions, and services as it pertains to their treatment.
Dental Anywhere Mobile Apps is a company that specializes in custom mobile apps for dental offices. Just as every patient has different needs, so does every office. While the business side of dentistry is pretty consistent, the services, techniques, philosophies, instruction, etc., vary. Everyone “does dentistry” a little different. Dental Anywhere’s products reflect this by way of modules or “compartments” in the app. I mention this because the apps they create house a module or “compartment” called “Hygiene Help,” which is perfect for supporting patients’ efforts to stay compliant between appointments mobile dental unit.
“Hygiene Help” is the hygienists answer to lost or forgotten homecare instruction. This module reinforces and reiterates the OHI we spend time going over in the chair. Patients open the app at anytime anywhere, locate “Hygiene Help” and extract the information they need to be compliant with our suggestions.
As a hygienist, I know we want all our patients to be disease free, as do they. As much as we would like to make “house calls” and appease those cries for dental help, it’s not realistic. On the other hand, implementing mobile technology is. With an app, we can still offer patients support, direction and help at their home or on vacation. It can make a difference for both the health of the patient and not to mention the health of our hands.
Short films unveiled to honor 100th anniversary of dental hygiene
Crest Oral-B has continued the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the profession of dental hygiene by releasing two short films during the 2013 American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s 90th Annual Session in Boston.
Each film captures the commitment hygienists have to their patients’ lives and showcases their contributions beyond the dental chair dental curing light.
“Crest Oral-B continues to thank hygienists for their unwavering hard work and dedication to the field,” said Dr. Veronica Sanchez, global oral care scientific communications director, Procter and Gamble.
“With these short films, we hope to expose the endless ways hygienists can affect their patients’ lives and bring deeper insight into the true nature of the profession.”
The films highlight Mariann Danielson, RDH, from Austin, Texas, and Vinny Wong, RDH, from New York, N.Y., as examples of hygienists who have altered the lives of their patients through their dedication to the oral health cause.
Through support and repeated dental visits, Danielson helped a 15-year-old patient slowly overcome sensory integration disorder and conquer fear of the dental chair and instruments. Wong discovered that the patient had ankyloglossia—was tongue tied—during a routine oral cancer scan and suggested corrective surgery.
These stories are just two examples of the nature of the profession.
“I think the biggest stereotype for dental hygienists is that we’re ‘teeth pickers,’” explained Danielson in the short film.
“There’s a lot more to it than just buff and puff. We’re educated. We’re state licensed. We’re national licensed, and we’re the nurses of the dental profession,” added Wong in his short film.
“I’m going to clean your teeth, but I’m going to educate you along the way. And also, I’m going to give you all the knowledge, and all the power for you to take care of yourself at home.”
The two short films are part of Crest Oral-B’s ongoing show of gratitude towards hygienists for what they have brought to the oral care industry during the past 100 years.