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July/August 2020 Social Commentary

Like Dimensions of Dental Hygiene’s Facebook page to share your thoughts on posted questions.


Desiret Canales, RDHDesiret Canales, RDH Dimensions Brand Ambassador

Patient acceptance, insurance dictating fees, and patients not willing to pay out of pocket if their insurance doesn’t cover periodontal therapy.




Stacie Neely, RDHStacie Neely, RDH  Dimensions Brand Ambassador

Patient compliance. I can provide treatment and educate patients, but when patient compliance with self-care and recare frequency are not maintained, periodontal therapy can be very challenging!




Lisa Bilich, RDH, BSDH, MEdLisa Bilich, RDH, BSDH, MEd  Dimensions Brand Ambassador

Periodontal maintenance patients not wanting to come in if their dental insurance will not pay. Frustrating to spend my time in an evaluation appointment to discuss the need to come in for periodontal therapy, then the last thing the patient says, “Will my insurance pay for it?”



Lacy Walker, RDH, CDALacy Walker, RDH, CDA  Dimensions Brand Ambassador

The hardest part I believe is case acceptance. Patients need to understand that this is a silent disease that can affect not only their systemic health but the strength of their periodontium, which, if not addressed in a timely manner, can lead to bone and tooth loss. Patients need us to explain the consequences. Even if the answer is “no” right now, they may change their mind to “yes” once they have a better understanding of the disease. Don’t give up!


Carolyn Patenaude, CDA, BS, RDH, MSEdCarolyn Patenaude, CDA, BS, RDH, MSEd  Dimensions Brand Ambassador

Once patients have accepted the need for periodontal therapy, the next challenge is to help them understand that periodontal disease is chronic. It may not be active, but it is something that patients must continue to treat beyond initial scaling and root planing. They need more frequent recare for periodontal maintenance and may require localized treatment with adjuncts. There is not a “one and done.” Patients need to understand that they have active disease and require frequent periodontal maintenance instead of a prophy. I try to explain this to patients by comparing it to other systemic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. Once diagnosed, even if well controlled, the disease is still present but in remission, and patients must continue to follow protocol to prevent relapse.


SOCIAL COMMENTARY Like Dimensions of Dental Hygiene’s Facebook page at:​dimensionsofdentalhygiene to share your thoughts on posted questions. We may publish your comment in an upcoming edition of our new column “Social Commentary,” and one lucky respondent will receive a coupon for a free continuing education course. If you would like your Instagram handle included, please be sure to add it to your response.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. July/August 2020;18(7):11.

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