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Fighting Dental Disease Begins With Trusted Tools: Parkell Scalers
Patti Cantor, RDH, sees a trend in dental disease prevention. “It’s important to create a partnership of trust with patients, pertaining to their oral health.
Patients must be accountable for their home care, and it’s my job as a dental professional to educate them on the importance of flossing and the use of tongue scrapers and electric toothbrushes. Patients are interested in better health and doing the right thing. I find that they respond best to positive reinforcement, and I make it a point never to lecture my patients. Along with education, having a proactive care regimen is vital for patients with high-risk factors. Frequent re-care visits allow more opportunity for me to motivate and set new goals with my patients.”
Cantor also comments on how current technology and materials have impacted oral hygiene within the dental practice. “Ultrasonic scalers, whether they are magnetostrictive or piezo, are used more often because they reduce the need for hand instrumentation, allow the clinician to remove biofilm effectively and in less time, while greatly improving pain management. In addition, desensitizers for root exposure have been helpful. Local and systemic deliveries of antibiotics for periodontal disease have also shown much promise.”
Cantor discloses some of the key products that she relies upon daily. “I have a couple of scalers that I use for particular reasons. The Integra™ and the TurboVue™ scalers from Parkell are quite unique in a sense that one offers reservoirs so that I can irrigate the patient after debridement. The other is good for providing light through the insert tip, allowing me to get better visibility in difficult areas of the oral cavity.
“There are also medicaments such as chlorhexidine, minocycline HCI, and varnishes for desensitizing that I find necessary for providing effective treatment. I’ve found that the companies whose products I use provide excellent technical training when needed.
“Most of the products are intuitive. But on occasion, if I need assistance, they either offer to have a representative visit the office or they have trained technicians who I can call.
“The most important revelation that we’ve experienced in the last few years has been the relationship between dental disease and coronary heart disease. We now know that they are inflammatory in nature and that their relationship is profound. Patients who are at risk for one disease are more likely to be at risk for the other.
“The future will be interesting in terms of genetics. As we map the human genome and learn more about the genetics of dental disease, we will be better able to treat patients at risk sooner and more successfully. We’re already seeing the benefits of better home care by the reduction of periodontal surgery. Declines in surgeries will continue. For now, the single most important thing a person can do to protect against heart disease is to keep their teeth and gums healthy.”
Patti Cantor, RDH, graduated in 1974 from Lamar University School of Dental Hygiene, in Beaumont, TX. Since then, Patti has enjoyed a distinguished 42-year career in dental hygiene. Currently, Patti works in private practice with Dr. Michael Kosdon, who has dental practices in Beverly Hills, CA, and New York, NY. Questions for Patti should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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