- Don’t be afraid
- Quadrant dentistry
- Benefits to clinician and patient
- Mouthpiece sizing
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode, this week brought to you by Zyris.
Hey, y’all. Michelle here. I just wanted to set up this week’s TIPisode for you. This was taken from a conversation with Rolando Mia, Dr. Thomas Hirsch, and Laura Murphy, RDH. They are just chatting about how great and wonderful the continuous suction from Zyris is, so check this out. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Rolando Mia: Laura, what are tips that you would like to give about utilizing Isolite in hygiene?
Laura Murphy, RDH: Well, the first is not to be afraid of it. In the beginning, you might be — I was a little hesitant because I thought it might take up too much of my time to implement something new. You know, hygienists are creatures of habit. We have our own routines down that we usually stick pretty close to because of our amount of time we have with each patient, right? But, with the Isolite, it’s really helped a lot in this environment. I feel much more confident with using it because of the issues with the aerosols.
My first tip is to think a little bit differently about how you attack the mouth. Basically, instead of doing arch dentistry, I’ve switched to quadrant. So I’ll place the Isolite and then, basically, do the right side. And I’ll do the entire right side. I’ll do the removing of the calculus, the plaque. Then I’ll do the flossing and the polishing, remove the Isolite, have the patient sit up, rinse, and then repeat the process on the left side.
Rolando Mia: Cool. So, first, don’t be afraid of it.
Laura Murphy, RDH: Don’t be afraid of it.
Rolando Mia: Second, you’re going to have to kind of change a little bit the habits that you’ve done.
What did you have to — or what are some things you had to overcome? What are some tips to go from, you know, effectively arch to quadrant dentistry? What tips would you give people [cross talk] —
Laura Murphy, RDH: — You know, I was used to that because when — I had used Isolite in the past for SRPs, and so you’re usually doing quadrants when you’re doing it. You’re breaking up the mouth into quadrants. It’s just easier. So it’s — I just had to incorporate the polishing and the flossing — right? — into that routine.
And the other thing I’d like to say is not to be afraid and to also tell your patients about it. Show the — show it to them before you place it. Show them the light. Tell them the reasons why. Because they’re also not used to having the Isolite used in a hygiene appointment.
And the third is that it alleviates a lot of the issues you have with the suction, having to hold the suction for retraction or hang the suction. It makes it a lot more easier. Once you get in there and you start using it, it really — it makes the procedure go much more smoothly. And it also affords me a lot — a level of confidence when it comes to my safety and my patient’s safety in the era of COVID.
Rolando Mia: Awesome. Thank you for that.
So we’ve heard before there’s a — there’s kind of a habit because hygienists have been very used to using one hand to retract and then also evacuate. What tips would you give people with regard to what to do with that hand now that the Isolite is in there and how — it’s — how can you — what tips to effect that?
Laura Murphy, RDH: Actually, it gives me more time to use my mirror, right? I can use my mirror easier because usually I’m having to have the patient turn more towards me because I’m having to look and hold the suction. So it makes it easier to actually visualize all the aspects of the tooth.
Rolando Mia: Hmm. Awesome.
And then do you have any tips with regard to especially when you’re using an ultrasonic and the amount of water or fluid that’s being generated when you’re using that instrument?
Laura Murphy, RDH: Well, it makes it much easier to control the water. And I like the fact that it wraps around the back of the throat, and it has the bite block. So it makes it, I think, a lot more sanitary and comfortable for the patient, you know, because a lot of times when you’re having a hygiene appointment, the jaws get tired. And, the patients, that’s one of the things that they complain about is that having to have their mouth open and their jaw — the muscles start to get a little tense and painful. So it helps with that — alleviate that as well.
Rolando Mia: Awesome.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Does it decrease that airborne aerosol by a factor?
Laura Murphy, RDH: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Yeah. Okay.
Rolando Mia: Yeah. Cool.
And then, finally, with regard to mouthpiece sizing, any tips or tricks with regard to advice you’d like to give regarding the size of the mouthpieces when you place them in your patients?
Laura Murphy, RDH: Yeah. That’s, uh — that takes a little bit of time in the beginning. Most patients are — that I work on are medium, you know. But then you do have some people that have very limited openings. The great thing about the Isolite, it has so many different sizes. And — what is it doctor? Is it like two fingers for a medium or usually —
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: — Three fingers for a medium, and two fingers for a small. But we just go back and forth, and you learn after a while. You got to dance with it for a while.
Laura Murphy, RDH: Yeah. Once you learn you can kind of — yeah. You’ll be able to, like, visually just kind of decide.
Rolando Mia: Awesome.
So I’m taking away don’t be afraid of it. That’s the first thing. Second, there are a range of different sizes, so work with that, expand with that. Third, you will have to shift from doing full arch to quadrant. So there’s kind of a little bit of a learning curve, but the benefits are huge. Fourth, it sounds like, especially with any of your ultrasonic instruments, you can have a ton of water in there, and it’s going to come out, right? Fifth, the — it frees up your other hand to be able to give you better retraction, you have better access, that type of stuff.
Laura Murphy, RDH: Yeah.
Rolando Mia: I’d say six you can slap your dentist around if you want to with that other hand.
Laura Murphy, RDH: [Laughing].
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Yeah. [Laughing].
Rolando Mia: Nah. No, I’m joking. Sorry.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Oh, I get it.
Rolando Mia: Anything else? Anything else you’d like to share regarding things that could help people as they start using Isolite in hygiene?
Laura Murphy, RDH: Like I said before, it’s — in the beginning, it’s a little bit of a change, but it — after like three patients, you got it. It’s — it becomes like second nature. And I feel that it really actually helps my hygiene appointments go a little more smoothly. And, like I said, the patients seem to like it. They’re more comfortable. They’re not having to worry about the water pooling. And that’s about it.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: I’ll throw one thing in there: Try using it with sealants. Try using it with sealants. When the hygienists do sealants — you know, I do most of the sealants in the office, but when my hygienists do the sealants, it’s that extra set of hands. So I’ll leave you with that one.
Laura Murphy, RDH: Yeah. It’s absolutely necessary.
Rolando Mia: Perfect.
And then, finally, as a dentist, as the owner of the practice, to ensure safety, especially now when we’re not quite clear with regard to eliminating aerosols, make it a protocol, establish it as fact, and you’ll ensure that patients, your staff, yourself are safe, so.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Yeah. And then the last thing that I really want everybody to remember. You’re the dentist, and the buck stops here. The buck stops right here with me. Buck stops at you, the dentist. You are the person in command. You make the rules. That’s where the buck stops.
Rolando Mia: Awesome.
Thank you so much for your time. Laura, it was a pleasure meeting you, and thank you for sharing those.
Laura Murphy, RDH: Thank you.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Thank you, Laura. Thank you. Thanks, Laura.
Rolando Mia: Thank you, Dr. Hirsch.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: You’re welcome.
Rolando Mia: Those of you watching, if you like this content, please share it with other people. If you have additional things that you’d like to learn or other tips you’d like to learn from Dr. Hirsch and his team, please let us know.
Thank you so much for joining us for Dr. Tom’s Tips on Tuesdays at ten.
Dr. Thomas Hirsch: Thanks, everybody.
Rolando Mia: Take care, everybody.
Michelle Strange: Thanks for listening to another TIPisode, and thanks to Zyris for their sponsorship. You can find out more at zyris.com where they have all kinds of resources, and you can learn how it works and view more products. And don’t forget to hit the “subscribe” button in your podcast app, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and head over to our website, ataleoftwohygienists.com, to sign up for our newsletter. We always appreciate ratings and reviews. Thanks for listening to your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.