October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Although brushing, flossing, and routinely visiting the dentist are all very important, dental hygiene is so much more than that. After consulting the best in the business, our very own dental hygienists, Angela, Karen, and Cheryl, we now have an even better idea of what dental hygiene means to them. From many advancements in dental technology, to seeing patients grow from young children into adults, they have had many experiences throughout their combined seventy-five years of treating patients.
From a young age, Karen (pictured left) dreamt of assisting people with achieving a healthy smile. After experiencing a family member in need of a more fitted denture, the thought of attending school for oral healthcare was always in the back of her mind and eventually she became a registered dental hygienist. For Karen, the technological advancements in dentistry is what excites and motivates her to continue treating patients. When she first began as a hygienist, scaling and polishing were the “go-to” treatments performed. However, now she is able to provide quality care that is also comfortable. Such as using diagnostic tools to help with detecting and treating periodontal gum disease, administering antibiotics to patients with deep pocketing, and taking x-rays that are digital, which decreases the wait time as no developing of film is required. She loves the reward of educating patients and ensuring they are cared for with the leading dental equipment the industry has to offer.
Cheryl (pictured right) began her career as a dental hygienist because she wanted to help people have a bright and confident smile. With decades of experience, she has sealed, polished, and treated more teeth than one could count. It is always her goal to explain with great detail, the treatment and services provided in her dental chair as oral health is directly related to the overall health of the entire body. Cheryl has served on many dental boards throughout the years including serving two terms as President of the Georgia Dental Hygienists’ Association. Participating in such wonderful organizations has impacted how she approaches dentistry, but the most important accomplishment is the relationships formed over the years with people in her dental chair.
Dental hygiene was an ideal career choice for Angela (pictured center), as it is linked to the three things she loves – meeting a lot of interesting people, helping others, and catering to her love of bones. She started her dental hygiene career after completing a degree in Anthropology, where her focus was on the physical side (forensics – bones/teeth.) Meeting new people on a daily basis is very intriguing to her as she has always been interested in diverse cultures and languages. Angela’s daily goal is to ease her patient’s fears and anxiety, listen to their concerns, while helping with their oral systemic health and gaining them as friend.
You see, dental hygiene can be a number of things. It’s keeping up with technological advancements, trying each method to ensure the services provided are the best care. It’s seeing patients grow up, having children and grandchildren. It’s succeeding and serving on dental hygiene boards to assist with improving the overall hygiene practices across the country. It’s learning about your patient and their culture. We appreciate our hygienists and each individual drive to aid with a lifetime of good oral health. Happy National Dental Hygiene Month!