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    Anastasia Turchetta's five hot dental hygiene topics for 2015

    Looking at the experiences we had in 2014 can help us succeed and become a selfless team in 2015.

    Warning: some football references are found sprinkled in this read! I will not bore you with play analogies for our profession or chant with a “there is no I in team” commentary. My intention is to provoke thought as you begin 2015. 

    As a Steelers fan, I had the chance to listen to Coach Mike Tomlin’s interview with the press today about what changes may happen in effort to move forward when the journey ends each season. Amidst the obvious sports chat, two key statements were made:

    1. We have to reflect on experiences we have had in 2014. It’s not about asking, “What areas can we get better in?” It’s the minds set of “what areas can we NOT get better in?”

     2. Often, it’s not what you do; it’s who you’re doing it with. We have a really selfless group this season.

    Here are five areas I believe will be the “hot” topics for dental hygiene in 2015 that will provoke thought to accomplish value for your patients, productivity and require working with a selfless group.

    Insurance codes

    Codes are changing and it’s our job as clinicians to know what was deleted, what is added, how does this fit into your current patient base and do you require training.

    Related reading: What you need to know about dental codes

    Health: Physical, mental and entrepreneurial

    Health; physical, mental and entrepreneurial. This area is multi-tiered. Ergonomics is always an interest. Hand instruments, ultrasonics, loupes, chairs and cordless handpieces are wise investments for your long-term health. Nutrition has become a delish topic not only for those who have food allergies, but also for those in our field who are now tapping into their entrepreneurial side via distributing nutritional products. Holistic nutrition and its impact on our oral health and systemic health make food fun! Finally, exercise to strengthen our bodies or release stress given your daily abuse! Invest in the time to be kind to your body and soul. Many of our colleagues are experts in various areas of exercise … reach out to them!

    Medical and dental connection

    I get this is an area that has not fully tapped into its potential. With areas in dentistry that treat migraines, TMJ, sleep apnea, snoring, impact from smoking marijuana, smoking or vaping/e-cigs, bacterial testing for periodontal bacteria or A1c’s … every piece of content we read that is evidence based will grant the responsibility of working together for a common goal: Health.

    Oral cancer mainstream

    Our stats have not significantly changed regarding the five-year 50/50 survival rate, yet we as a profession continue to press on with awareness and discussions about risk factors such as HPV.

    Social media content, video content and marketing

    This will only grow so you and your practices may best begin the mindset that Coach Tomlin shared: What area can we NOT get better in? Our patients are consumers. Consumers are watching video content and reading research. This raises our standard of care, as patients will ask about new products, technology, etc.

    Related reading: How to better engage with patients on social media

    As you finish this first week of 2015, consider these five areas and reflect. Ironically, it does go back to football for success. Mindset for improvement and a selfless group are a proven successful combination. What you have to give of yourself to your practice and your patients will determine how you move forward in our profession.