The top things our dental experts are excited about in 2017
DPR spoke with several experts in our industry about what they are excited for in the dental industry in 2017
Dental hygienist, Kara Vavrosky:
Enjoying better ergonomics with better instruments
“As a hygienist, as far as being excited, it’s about instruments. If there is anything new about instruments, I’m like ‘yessss!’,” Kara Vavrosky, RDH in Beaverton, Oregon, and Editorial Director of Modern Hygienist explains.
That’s because hygienists love their instruments sharp and ergonomic. Vavrosky is intrigued by Scandinavian company LM Dental, and their new LM Ergo Sense Sharp Diamond Sharpen line. They require no sharpening and have a wide handle which improves ergonomics. One of her favorite features, however, was the RFID chip technology.
“You can have a chip inserted into them, utilizing RFID technology, and it can tell you how often it’s been used, if it’s clean, the maintenance, all these things after you hook it up to your computer. It’s a built-in dental tracking system,” she says. It can also tell you where they are, a feature that might have more significance in a large group practice where several dental professionals are using instruments.
Another reason Vavrosky thinks the LM Instruments are a game changer is that they provide improved ergonomics. The wide handles protect the hygienist’s hands.
“If you have too small of a handle you squeeze more. It has to do with pinch pressure. When handles are wider, it reduces muscle fatigue, which reduces the chance of muscular-skeletal injury. Plus, with them being silicone, supposedly it also helps with tactile sensitivity.”
One of the biggest challenges hygienists have is finding time to sharpen instruments. Not only is the schedule usually tight, but the sound is also awful. Vavrosky describes it like “fingernails on a chalkboard.” She jokes that you could sharpen them right next to the patient, but was confident it would scare them right out of the operatory.
“But sharp instruments are vital. If they are sharp, your scaling is more efficient and thorough,” Vavrosky says. “It sounds horrible, too, but when a patient cancels, we shouldn’t get excited for that. We should be like, ‘Oh no! They aren’t getting their treatment.’ But really, it’s like, ‘Oh good! I have time to sharpen my instruments.’”