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Kevin Henry is the group editorial director for Advanstar Dental Media and has more than 15 years of experience in the dental publications field. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Also, you can follow him on Twitter (@kgh23).
One practitioner explains how the Restful Jaw allows him to offer more comfort and care to his patients.
I recently had the chance to speak with Dr. Kevin Huff, a dentist in Dover, Ohio, about how he uses the Restful Jaw in his practice.
The Restful Jaw is an external jaw support device worn by dental patients that supports the patient’s mandible while their mouth is open during dental procedures. According to the manufacturer, it’s clinically proven to significantly reduce jaw pain and fatigue during and after dental procedures.
Dr. Huff says he was a little skeptical about the product at first but it quickly won him over.
“I admit that I was a naysayer at first,” Dr. Huff says. “Many of us were taught to support the mandible during oral surgery by having an assistant hold her fist firmly under the chin, but how stable is that? Also, a lot depends on the amount of force you’re applying. How hard are you pushing and how hard do you need to push? I got the Restful Jaw because it made sense. I do a lot of my own oral surgery and periodontal surgery so it made sense to have this as a part of my practice.”
Dr. Huff says that getting the patient to be comfortable with the use of the Restful Jaw during a procedure was pretty easy.
“We have it hanging on the wall where the assistant can see it and it’s ready to access,” Dr. Huff explains. “If we’re doing longer procedures, like doing more than one or two crowns, or if the patient is having discomfort with his or her jaw, we’ll use the Restful Jaw. When we think a patient might benefit from this, we always ask if they’d like to have a ‘couch for their jaw.’ No one ever turns that down. We’ve never had a patient say no. We explain to them how it works and they’re ready to start using it.
“It also works very nicely for work on the upper arch with elderly patients. It’s passive support that provides stability.”
It’s also a product that depends on the team buying in and helping explain its benefits to the patient.
“My assistant helps me guide the conversation and the placement of the device,” Dr. Huff says. “We keep it behind the patient so they never see it until we’re ready to talk about it. Sometimes, she does all of the explaining about how it works because the patient really views her as the advocate.”
Dr. Huff says the Restful Jaw has been a great benefit to his practice, especially when used with another product designed to keep the hands of his team members free.
“We always try to plan ahead when it comes to using the Restful Jaw. I’ve found if we put it on the patient once they’re in the chair, it’s quick and simple to use,” Dr. Huff says. “It takes about 30 seconds to put on them. We also use it a lot in conjunction with the Isolite and they work very well together. We always let the patient help us determine how tight it should be and it keeps things stable in occlusion.”
Dr. Huff says that the Restful Jaw has become a key part of his practice, both in terms of productivity and image with patients.
“We don’t charge additional money for using it. It’s a nice add-on that we offer in our practice. It’s another way for us to give Ritz-Carlton service to our patients,” he says.