Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Positivity in the Year Ahead

Each new year brings anticipation of brighter and better things to come, and this year is no exception.

Happy January, all! Each new year brings anticipation of brighter and better things to come, and this year is no exception. We’ve already had good news with the release and distribution of two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. At press time, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines both had received Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) from the United States Food and Drug Administration. This truly is a remarkable achievement in record time, as we all know that the typical timeframe for vaccine development and distribution is years, not months.

Soon after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine received the EAU, the American Dental Association developed a fact sheet for oral health professionals. It contains safety and efficacy data as well as pertinent information regarding the priority status of oral health personnel for receiving the vaccine. Titled “COVID-19 Vaccination: Key Facts” the document can be accessed here. As stated in the fact sheet, oral health personnel “…have an opportunity to serve as a resource for evidence-based information, helping to educate colleagues and the public about COVID-19 vaccination.” It is intended to be a quick resource for us and also contains a link to the full 92-page briefing document about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The briefing document is more comprehensive, with evidence-based information on the clinical and nonclinical data gathered during the vaccine’s trials. In addition, be sure to read “What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines” in this issue of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. It provides an overview of the various types of vaccines currently in development.

Keeping with the #Upward theme of brighter and better things to come, there is nothing more inspiring than learning how colleagues grow and succeed. “Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher” is a wonderful mantra for this coming year. To that end, Dimensions is starting a department called “Spotlight on Clinicians” beginning in February. In it, we will highlight the achievements of grassroots dental hygienists the clinicians who perform the daily role of caring for patients and have also found an additional way to use their knowledge and skills outside of the operatory. Do you volunteer at a senior center, providing oral hygiene instructions and preventive care? Have you started a local effort to educate the public? Maybe you’ve written a book, developed a study club, or initiated positive change in your community. If so, please share your stories with us and you could be featured in an upcoming issue! Email me at describing your activities. Our face-to-face interactions have been curtailed, but we can still share positivity and inspiration with one another.

By supporting each other and looking to the future with hope, we can truly say that there has never been a better time to be a dental hygiene professional. As we expand our roles and scope of practice, more individuals will benefit from the care we can provide. Let’s make 2021 our most positive year yet!

Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. January 2021;19(1):6.

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