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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


To analyse dental hygienists' (DHs) views on professional competencies and behavioural interventions in the treatment of periodontitis patients, perceived work-related support and work satisfaction.

Concepts: Oral hygiene, Periodontology, Periodontitis, Gingiva, Periodontal disease, Dental hygienist


In a digital orientating survey of gender differences among 156 male and 98 female dentists in the Netherlands, many similarities were found between the two groups. Men and women generally report that they are in good health, experience comparable levels of burnout (about 10%) and are equally satisfied with their choice of profession. To a large extent, they perceive the same aspects of their work as attractive, with ‘patient care’ as by far the most attractive feature. According to the dentists as well as 122 assistants and dental hygienists (who were also questioned in this survey), they have comparable leadership styles, while the dentists, on average, rate their leadership behaviour more highly than the assistants and dental hygienists do. In addition, a limited number of significant gender differences were found in the sample. Women feel less competent in conducting complex interventions than men, and they find surgical interventions and complex restorative treatments less attractive aspects of their work. Women consult colleagues more often and their preference for working in a team is greater.

Concepts: Sex, Dental hygienist, Gender role, Physician, Difference, Male, Female, Gender


With a growing number of female dentists, changes in the collaboration between dentists and dental hygienists are possible. To assess the possible consequences of these changes in dentistry for cooperation with dental hygienists, two important aspects are discussed: differences in vision with respect to treatment and the profession and differences in communication styles. Female dentists seem to be more prevention-orientated and people-orientated and are therefore more like the group of female dental hygienists. The communication style of female dentists is also consistent with the style of their female colleague hygienists; wishes and expectations are more aligned with each other, which makes optimal cooperation more likely. This focus on prevention and the consistency in communication styles offer opportunities for inter-professional collaboration between dentists and dental hygienists. Does this actually mean better collaboration, however, and what about the cooperation between male dentists and female dental hygienists?

Concepts: Dental implant, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Dental hygienist, Dentistry


Delegation of tasks between professional groups is important to make health-care services accessible and effective for ageing people. Focussing on a Swedish 1942 birth cohort and guided by Andersen’s Behavioral Model, this study assessed dental hygienist attendance from age 50 to age 70 and identified covariates at the population-averaged and person-specific levels. In 1992, a census of 50-yr-old subjects was invited to participate in a questionnaire survey. Of the 6,346 respondents, 3,585 completed follow-ups in 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted using a marginal model and a random intercept model. Cochran’s Q test revealed that significantly more respondents confirmed dental hygienist attendance in 2012 than in 1992 (57.2% in 2012 vs. 26.0% in 1992). Population-averaged ORs for dental hygienist attendance across time were 3.5 at age 70 yr compared with age 50 yr (baseline); 2.0 if being a regular rather than an irregular dental attendee; and 0.7 if being of non-native origin compared with native origin. The corresponding person-specific ORs were 8.9, 3.2, and 0.5. Consistent with Andersen’s Behavioral Model, predisposing, enabling, and need-related factors were associated with dental hygienist attendance at population-averaged and person-specific levels. This has implications for promoting dental hygienist attendance among ageing people.

Concepts: Logistic function, Dental implant, Cohort study, Ageing, Metalogic, Dental hygienist, Regression analysis, Logistic regression