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Concept: Dental hygienist


Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer’s disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer’s disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation.

Concepts: Periodontitis, Gingiva, Dental hygienist, Alzheimer's disease, Cohort study, Cognition, Periodontal disease, Inflammation


We investigated awareness in dental hygienists of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) in patients with osteoporosis and cancer and assessed the situation in systemic history investigations to broaden the scope of the dental hygienists' BRONJ awareness as a basis for contributing to preventing this disease. The study was carried out through a survey; 217 dental hygienists responded to the survey. They worked at 12 university and general hospitals, 10 dental hospitals and 35 dental clinics, for a total of 57 institutions in Seoul. The survey consisted of 37 questions: general characteristics (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 65: 2007; 369), systemic history investigations (Ruggiero et al. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 62: 2004; 527) and awareness of BRONJ (Park et al. J Korean Dent Assoc 49: 2011; 389). Among them, 79.7% were aware of BRONJ. Recognition was highest among those from 25 to 35 years old (P < 0.05). In terms of work experience, those with 5-10 years experience showed the highest awareness (P < 0.05). In terms of institutions type, dental clinics showed lower awareness than general and dental hospitals (P < 0.05). It was found that 55.3% of the dental hygienists had been educated about BRONJ. Those aged 25-35 years were the most educated. In terms of institutions, dental clinic staff were the least educated. The degree of understanding about BRONJ was analysed with the average score of 6.14 points. According to these results, dental hygienists working in university hospitals and general hospitals had more opportunity to receive training than those working in dental clinics. Thus, it is considered that the development of professional training programs about BRONJ for all dental hygienists is necessary.

Concepts: Dentistry, Osteonecrosis of the jaw, Awareness, Understanding, Clinic, Hospital, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Dental hygienist


The British Columbia Ministry of Health in Canada approved a new registration category for dental hygienists in 2012. This category included four abilities that registrants were required to demonstrate at a 4th-year baccalaureate degree level.

Concepts: Canada, Dental hygienist


In 2015, adults aged ≥65 years with diagnosed diabetes were more likely than adults without diagnosed diabetes to report seeing general doctors (92.3% compared with 86.7%); eye doctors (66.9% compared with 56.6%); physician specialists (51.5% compared with 45.5%); foot doctors (29.9% compared with 13.0%) and mental health professionals (6.3% compared with 4.5%) in the past 12 months. Those with diabetes were less likely than those without diabetes to report seeing a dentist or dental hygienist in the past 12 months (54.5% compared with 65.0%).

Concepts: Dental therapist, Dentistry, Dental hygienist, Physician


Dental hygienists are important members of the oral health care team, providing preventive and prophylactic services and oral health education. However, scope-of-practice parameters in some states limit their ability to provide needed services effectively. In 2001 we developed the Dental Hygiene Professional Practice Index, a numerical tool to measure the state-level professional practice environment for dental hygienists. We used the index to score state-level scopes of practice in all fifty states and the District of Columbia in 2001 and 2014. The mean composite score on the index increased from 43.5 in 2001 to 57.6 in 2014, on a 100-point scale. We also analyzed the association of each state’s composite score with an oral health outcome: tooth extractions among the adult population because of decay or disease. After we controlled for individual- and state-level factors, we found in multilevel modeling that more autonomous dental hygienist scope of practice had a positive and significant association with population oral health in both 2001 and 2014.

Concepts: Public health, Dental implant, Dentistry, Halitosis, Dental therapist, Hygiene, Health, Dental hygienist


Increased levels of anxiety may affect a patient’s receptiveness to treatment, health care information and behaviour modification. This study was undertaken to assess pre-treatment anxiety in a dental hygiene recall population maintaining a schedule of regular preventive care appointments.

Concepts: Dental hygienist, Psychology, Illness, Health care provider, Health, Public health, Health care


Competency-based education is employed to ensure students are prepared to perform tasks required by entry-level practitioners. The American Dental Education Association’s curriculum for dental hygiene programs states that students should learn skills consistently performed by dental hygienists to the level of competence. The purpose of this study was to assess the implementation of a competency- based dental hygiene clinical program at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The program included components such as the development of competencies, assessment techniques, portfolios (self-assessment/reflection), mock boards, faculty feedback, remediation, and competency notebooks.

Concepts: Learning, Four stages of competence, Educational psychology, Education, Competence, Hygiene, Dental hygienist, Skill


The aim of this study was (i) to evaluate the visual performance of dental hygienists in their clinical environment and (ii) to analyse the relationship between self-assessed and objectively measured visual acuity.

Concepts: Visual acuity, Dental hygienist


Oral health in nursing homes for elderly is often unsatisfactory, and oral health education to nursing staff has not shown sufficient results why there is need for novel approaches. The aim of the study was to trial a new oral healthcare educational programme and to evaluate the effects on residents' oral health. In addition, attitudes among the nursing staff in the intervention nursing home were explored.

Concepts: Public health, Dental hygienist, Healthcare, Geriatrics, Health, Nursing


To assess the opinions of dental hygienists in Saudi Arabia regarding the establishment of a professional association including the role it should have to meet their professional needs.

Concepts: Yemen, Mecca, Riyadh, Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait, Dental hygienist, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates