The joy of providing relief

September 18, 2019

How StellaLife helps one hygienist provide a more comfortable experience for her patients.

I have been a clinical hygienist for 40 years. When I began my career, I was very idealistic and thought my patients would appreciate my care, follow my instructions and be happy to see me. I was in for a shock.

In the 1970s we were taught that periodontal disease was caused by bacteria adhering to tooth surfaces and calcified deposits. Our mission was to remove these deposits during every cleaning. We were also taught that if the patients would floss daily, they would have healthy mouths.

For the first 10 years of my career, I would do my best to remove these deposits during routine cleanings and give my patients a strict lecture about the need to floss. Since their gingiva was infected, the cleanings were often painful, usually bloody and the patients were not receptive to my encouragement to floss. They couldn’t wait to get out of the office and six months later, we’d go through it all again. Understandingly, most of my patients were not happy to see me and we all felt frustrated and discouraged.

I’m happy to say that we’ve come a long way since then. With ongoing research, we now know that periodontal disease is a multi-factorial chronic inflammatory disease, for which there is no cure. We have a better understanding of the host-modulated immune response. It’s not the patients’ fault. The technology we now use, such as micro-ultrasonics, lasers, ozone and sub-gingival air polishers allow us to be much more effective at controlling the biofilm during non-surgical periodontal therapy and during maintenance.

Related reading: How to explain periodontitis to your patients

I was fortunate to have advanced training with the JP Institute, which gave me a structure for my hygiene appointments, allowing time for communication with the patient about the oral-systemic link and their restorative and periodontal treatment needs. I also now had the support of my whole team to provide customized treatment plans so I could painlessly treat my patients. It was a win-win for everyone.

My next milestone was being introduced to StellaLife. This revolutionary product line is all-natural homeopathic and it works. The products reduce pain and accelerate healing after any surgical procedure. Though our patients are comfortable when anesthetized, we can expect sensitivity and soreness after the anesthetic wears off. Patients who got StellaLife routinely reported little or no discomfort after surgeries or SRPs. I started using the StellaLife Rinse for sub-gingival irrigation with an endo syringe during SRPs and perio maintenance, for gingivitis patients and anyone with inflamed tissue. I also apply the StellaLife Gel with a swab as a final step. It’s immediately soothing and the pain reduction lasts two to three hours.  The patients continue using the products at home. The mint taste is mild and very refreshing. My patients love it.

Trending article: What your patients need to know about gum recession 

Another amazing benefit of these products is that they can provide clinical improvement and comfort for patients with lichen planus, oral pemphigoid, mucositis and xerostomia. In 40 years, I have not found a product to be this effective. The feedback from patients with these chronic conditions has been consistent and very positive.

Patients undergoing cancer treatment, are reporting they can keep their mouths hydrated and have reduced the occurrence of lesions from chemo or radiation therapy. They are able to eat and swallow so they can nourish themselves while fighting cancer. Patients with any mucosal lesions or dry mouth benefit the most from a 10-day course of the StellaLife Recovery Kit followed by maintenance with the StellaLife Rinse and Gel. I use it chairside every day, and more and more of my patients use the products at home as part of their daily oral hygiene regimen. The rinse is as effective an anti-microbial as chlorhexidine without the side effects.

I am so grateful to be able to provide this level of care for my patients. After many years of hurting them, I now relieve their pain while accelerating their healing and this is such a joy. My idealism has returned. My patients appreciate me and I truly enjoy being a hygienist.