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How New Tools are Helping Dental Hygienists Offer Better Care


Innovations in dental health care enable hygienists to not only provide better care for patients, but to also sharpen their own skillsets.

How New Tools are Helping Dental Hygienists Offer Better Care. Image credit: © santypan - stock.adobe.com

How New Tools are Helping Dental Hygienists Offer Better Care. Image credit: © santypan - stock.adobe.com

As a dental hygienist, you spend more time with your patients than anyone else in the office. You want what’s best for your patients, which means sometimes you may have to update your practices to optimize the patient experience. When was the last time you inventoried your supplies and verified that you were using the best products available? Your supplies might be due for an overhaul, but first, you’ll need to know what’s out there.

As with all patient care, the products you use have an impact on how well you can do your job. Technological advancements and high-powered research frequently result in new and exciting options for the tools you use every day. The American Dental Association (ADA) has minimum requirements for the equipment and supplies you need to use, but who wants to settle for the minimum?1

If you’re looking to update your supply closet and provide your patients with the best possible care, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find details on the latest in dental technology to help you give your patients the very best.

Impact of Innovative Dental Supplies on Patient Care

You’ve probably walked into an outdated medical or dental office a time or 2 in your lifetime. The dingy, decades-old equipment and worn carpets probably didn’t fill you with confidence that your provider could provide you with best-in-class care.

The supplies you use make a lasting impression on your patients. And as new technologies lead to innovations in dental supplies, your patients will expect you to keep up. From the comfort of your dental chair to the abrasiveness of your scaler, everything contributes to the overall experience. Even the scrubs you wear can influence your patients’ overall experience and impressions.2

Key Challenges in Dental Hygienist Practice

Patient Avoidance

One of the most obvious challenges that dental hygienists face is the fact that very few people enjoy visiting the dentist. No one likes having their teeth scraped and gums prodded or being asked about their flossing habits. For some, visiting the dentist (even for a regular cleaning) is a panic-inducing activity.

Rising Costs

For many dental offices, rising costs are a concern. Inflation over the past couple of years has caused the prices of basic dental supplies to increase, making it difficult for businesses to justify investing in new, innovative equipment and products.3

Physical Strain

Your comfort as a dental hygienist also matters, and it can be hard to maintain when you’re on your feet most of the day, working in unnatural positions. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders are common among dental hygienists because of the physical challenges of the job.4

Advancements in Dental Hygiene Products

You’re well aware of the difficulties of your profession. But luckily, there are solutions in the form of advanced products you can use to make your job easier. Some of the most exciting dental hygiene products on the market today include:

Anti-fog, self-cleaning dental mirrors

These mirrors out-perform the classics, making it easier than ever to see what you’re doing while working on a patient.

Jaw support add-ons

Jaw supports can clip to your suction tool, keeping it firmly in the patient’s mouth, so you can focus on the job at hand. These are great for hygienists who are working without assistance.

Ergonomic dental chairs

Comfort makes a big difference in the overall dental experience, and since your patients are lying down for the majority of their appointment, the dental chair should be high-quality. Choosing an ergonomic dental chair ensures that your patients are as relaxed as possible.

Dental desensitizers

For many patients, dental work – even cleanings – can be painful. Dental desensitizers are revolutionary and allow hygienists to work without inflicting too much discomfort on the patient.

Slim, comfortable powered scalers

It can be awkward having another person brush your teeth for you, but using the right tools can improve the experience. Ditch your bulky powered scalers for thin, lightweight options that take it easy on the patient’s mouth.

Future Trends: The Ongoing Revolution in Dental Hygiene Products

The overall hope is that people start taking preventative dental care more seriously, preventing larger issues that need major interventions. With technological advancements in dentistry, this is possible as more patients find preventative care more affordable and accessible.

With the advent of products like desensitizers and other items that make the overall experience less invasive, more patients are likely to keep up with regular dental visits as their fears are addressed.

Technologies like artificial intelligence and 3D printing will likely start appearing more frequently in dental hygiene practices, both in the design and creation of new products and in the development of methods for improving hygiene processes.

Empowering Dental Hygienists for Improved Patient Outcomes

Since you’re the person that your patients spend most of their time in the office with, you need to be prepared to do what you can to improve their experiences – and by extension, their outcomes.

Using the best, most advanced products to treat your patients is the best way to let them know you prioritize their comfort and dental health. You have the power to make visiting the dentist less intimidating – use it!


  1. Dental Products. American Dental Association. Accessed April 16, 2024. https://www.ada.org/topic/dental-products#sort=%40topicsortdate%20descending&f:@contenttag=[Dental%20Products]
  2. Cumper C. Top Nursing Scrubs for All Healthcare Professionals – 2024. Published December 15, 2023. Accessed April 16, 2024. https://www.medshop.com.au/blogs/news/top-nursing-scrubs-for-all-healthcare-professionals
  3. Garvin J. Dental services affected by country’s high inflation. Published July 19, 2022. Accessed April 16, 2024. https://adanews.ada.org/ada-news/2022/july/dental-services-affected-by-countrys-high-inflation/
  4. Saccucci M, Zumbo G, Mercuri P, et al. Musculoskeletal disorders related to dental hygienist profession. Int J Dent Hyg. 2022;20(3):571-579. doi:10.1111/idh.12596
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