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Check here often to get the latest news, both what your patients are hearing from the media and what's new in the dental community.

Dental water line infection control:
A work in progress

The first report describing high concentrations of bacteria in dental handpiece water lines was published in the British Medical Journal by Blake in 1963.1 Subsequent studies have built on this pioneer investigation by (a) looking at mechanisms of microbial biofilm formation, (b) demonstrating that the long, narrow plastic lines used to deliver water and air during patient treatment provide both optimal growth environments for microbial colonization and a potential health hazard by releasing contaminated water into patients’ mouths and the air, (c) identifying multiple classes of microorganisms in dental water samples, (d) developing effective approaches to treat dental unit water lines (DUWL) and reduce bacterial colonization, and (e) developing analytical systems to monitor water quality.
This article first appeared in Dental Economics magazine, copyright 2017. Full text reprinted with permission of PennWell Corporation.
Billing code D4346
A game changer

Creating new insurance codes to embrace new technologies, materials, and procedures can lead to earlier arrest and prevention of oral disease, and positively influence systemic health. The most notable changes are a perfect example of how Codes on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT) evolve to fill procedure gaps.
Dental Ergonomics
Recommendations for a happy, healthy, ache-free hygienist

As a dental professional, you work to stay vigilant and to keep your patients safe every day. You make sure that your instruments are sterile, you wear gloves, and you put protective goggles on yourself and your patients. Likewise, you ensure that your instruments are in top shape for the procedures you about to perform. Are you, however, protecting the most important asset of the dental operatory: yourself?
Thanking dental assistants
Expressing gratitude for everyday heroes

The month of March is a time that many dental offices thank their assistants for the hard work that they do. However, all of March – and indeed all year – is a time to express gratitude to these unsung heroes of the dental practice.
Protecting yourself and your patient
A webinar for best practices in hand hygiene

As a dental healthcare professional, you know about the importance of hand hygiene. You also know that there are many regulations to follow, and about as many different products, too. Hu-Friedy has a complimentary webinar that addresses all of these hand hygiene concerns.
NEW Complimenatry Online CE Course
The Science of Dental Fear

We are pleased to announce a new, Friends of Hu-Friedy exclusive CE course, complimentary and available online: The Science of Dental Fear. In this course, Dr Larry J Sangrik explains and categorizes dental anxiety and patient types, and encourages a compassionate view. This course is worth 1 CE credit (self-guided), and is available now.
Dental Guygienists, Unite!
Mr RDH – a community of male hygienists – and those who belong to it

We all know a female dental hygienist. However, how many male hygienists do you know? Chances are that you don’t know many. They do exist, however, and their numbers are growing. Yet there remains a lack of visibility for the man who has made his career dental hygiene. Enter Mr RDH, an online (for now) community of men in hygiene, and its proud founder, Rafael Rondon.
Trays Vs. Cassettes
Considerations for processing dental instruments

here are two main ways to process and transport dental instruments – process loose instruments in pouches, place onto trays, and deliver to and from the operatory; or secure instruments in a locked sterilization cassette to be packaged and processed, and transport to the operatory and back to the sterilization area. The decision to use trays versus cassettes involves a number of factors. Compliance with infection control guidelines and regulations, and safety of dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) is paramount...
This article first appeared in Inside Dentistry magazine, copyright 2016. Full text reprinted with permission of Aegis Communications.
Effective, sensible, and safe hand hygiene
THE FIRST HAND HYGIENE PROTOCOLS for health-care professionals were instituted in hospitals by Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis in 1847. His early observations led him to conclude that physicians’ and medical students’ hands contaminated during patient care were a major source of infection among mothers in hospital maternity wards. His handwashing program’s success led the way for a well-documented body of literature strongly supporting a connection between improved hand hygiene practices and reduced patient infections.
This article first appeared in Dental Economics magazine, copyright 2016. Full text reprinted with permission of PennWell Corporation.
Why polishing prior to instrumentation makes sense
Most patients today experience polishing at the end of their appointment, signaling “the end” of the visit. Personally, I polish at the beginning of the appointment. So, what is the rationale for polishing first? In the absence of evidence-based science proving the benefits of polishing first, let’s uncover some of the practical reasons to do so.
e-Cigarettes and oral health
A new way to get your nicotine brings oral health problems, new and old

E-Cigarettes, or "vaping", have become increasingly popular over the last few years – among former 'traditional' smokers, those working towards quitting, and those who have never used a lighter or matches to light a regular cigarette. Some e-cigarette smokers, or "vapers", believe that an e-cigarette doesn't present health risks the way that old-fashioned cigarettes do. In fact, some don't even consider it smoking at all. There are, however, health risks associated with these electronic nicotine delivery devices, both known and unknown.
Collaborative care: Periodontist urges that hygienists be part of the triangle of periodontal care
From RDH Magazine *

Lisa Masters, DDS, MS, writes why hygienists must be considered an essential part of periodontal therapy. (Links to RDH magazine website.)
Esther Wilkins, Whose Book Set Standards In Dental Hygiene, Dies
From NPR – National Public Radio *

Dr Esther Wilkins was an icon in the dental hygiene world. However, few people outside the dental professions knew her. After her death in December, however, that changed when NPR did a feature story on her on their daily news show, All Things Considered. (Links to NPR feature page.)
Winter illness and dental health
Best practices for the dental health practitioner and patient

As a dental healthcare professional, you are a source of dental care and information; you are also a possible vector for respiratory infection, especially during the cold and flu season. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness as well as instruct your patients how they can protect themselves and others this season. And if you or one of your patients should catch cold or flu, there are steps to protect oral health while recuperating.
Dr. Esther Wilkins, a dental hygiene icon, passes away
From Dentistry IQ *

Dr Esther Wilkins, the founder of modern dental hygiene theory and the writer of the authoritative text, Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, passed away on December 12, 2016 – just three days after her 100th birthday.
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