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Hygiene Expert Shares 5 Ways Your Dental Hygienist Can Save Your Life in New Book


In her book, Brandi Hooker Evans presents a light-hearted yet serious look at dental care that will be appreciated by both dental patients and professionals.

Hygiene Expert Shares 5 Ways Your Dental Hygienist Can Save Your Life in New Book | Image Credit: © Brandi Hooker Evans

Hygiene Expert Shares 5 Ways Your Dental Hygienist Can Save Your Life in New Book | Image Credit: © Brandi Hooker Evans

Poor oral health often leads to poor overall health, and who better to explain this than an experienced registered dental hygienist and consultant?

Brandi Hooker Evans, RDH, owns and operates Stellar Outcomes and Evans Dental with her husband, Eron Evans, DDS, and with almost 2 decades of experience as a clinician in private practice, she knows all too well about the prevalence of infections in the mouth.

She shares this startling statistic: nearly half of the Earth's adult population struggles with oral infection, and for many it will be fatal. For seniors, the number jumps to 7 out of 10.

"For the first time in history, more people are dying from chronic rather than communicable diseases," Hooker Evans, author of the new book Dentists, Hygienists and Cows: How Brilliant Dental Professionals Have Great Days While Providing Exquisite Individualized Care, says in a press release.

"It's a sad truth that we dental professionals often approach patient care like we're herding cattle," adds Hooker Evans, RDH-ER, MHE, MAADH. "In our haste to get as many patients processed as possible, we can overlook individual needs."

In this book published by Indie Books International, she makes the case patients and dental professionals should strive for a total body health approach to dental care. With a light-hearted touch, Hooker Evans presents a serious look at dental care that is infused with a humorous style and can be appreciated by both dental patients and professionals.

"We will have to dig deeper, instrumentation pun intended, if we want to make a true impact and help our patients finally get healthy," writes Hooker Evans, according to the press release.

She acknowledges most people are not excited about dental appointments, yet more people these days are well aware of the research on oral systemic connections.

"When my patients show up to their hygiene appointment, I meet them where they're at," she says. "I hope that they will be ready to attempt the next level of health. However, if they aren't, it's a big fat freaking high five for showing up today."

Hooker Evans is an American Academy of Dental Hygiene accredited continuing education provider. She acquired her formal education from Idaho State University, most recently, a master's degree in health education, and she has served as president of the Idaho Dental Hygienists' Association and her local Portneuf Valley Dental Hygiene Society. Hooker Evans is also a contributing writer for Modern Hygienist.

The new book quotes another startling statistic from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report: "In 2013, 47.2 percent of adults 30 years of age and older had mild, moderate, or advanced bone loss (aka periodontal disease), as did 70.1 percent of adults 65 and older."

As a result, a thorough dental exam is required to stay on top of periodontal disease. As the author describes, much of the exam is performed and can be explained in simple terms by the dental hygienist.

She shares these 5 steps that might save a patient's life:

  • Medical history and update. Advise the patient: "Your mouth is connected to your body. If we know what we are working with, I can help you take great care of both."
  • Blood pressure reading. Explain that heart disease and gum disease are often related. They can help or hinder one another.
  • Oral cancer screening. If the patient asks for more information, she gives it to them. For example: "I am feeling for lumps and bumps. I want to know what is normal for you and if there is anything that we need to investigate further. I have helped a lot of people identify thyroid issues early. No matter what we find,the earlier we discover it, the better outcomes are."
  • Radiographs. She teaches hygienists to advise patients: "This thick white line of bone should go up, over, and down between each tooth."
  • Periodontal charting. She teaches hygienists to advise patients: "One to 3 millimeters is normal, and healthy gums don't bleed or hurt while I measure. "Many patients do not know they can die from diseases that start in the mouth.

"When the assessment is complete, we sit the patient up and review the information together," Hooker Evans states. "Nine times out of 10, our patient will ask, 'What are we gonna do?' To which I answer, 'We know just what to do! We are a team and are going to treat this disease. It will require you, the patient, and I, the dental professional, to work together with a new plan moving forward for homecare as well as professional care.' A well-informed patient who agrees with the need for the treatment plan is the goal of every exam."

She says the work hygienists perform and the system they use must come from a place of abundance and service.

She advises hygienists: "Another reason to get comfortable with recognizing and treating periodontal disease early is that it will never be more affordable or easier to treat than it is today."

In her training and consulting business, Stellar Outcomes, Hooker Evans specializes in providing tailored practice improvement programs. With a focus on comprehensive dental hygiene care along with infection control, her programs integrate restorative and administrative insights designed to elevate individual dental offices and captivate large speaking audiences alike.

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