Name: Rebecca Comstedt
Graduation: I graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working 4 days per week for a general DDS. There are three hygienists in the practice, and the DDS is looking to hire an associate in the near future. I am passionate about patient education, presenting a simple (yet accurate) message to the patients, and creating a system/process to improve oral health. I want to change the oral health conversation and improve oral health understanding. We are seeing periodontal disease in younger ages (just as we are seeing more chronic systemic disease in younger ages); if we can change the condition of the mouth, we can change the condition of the body. This happens when we address Biofilm, Bacteria and the Body. When it comes to addressing the body, nutrition is the foundation, so we need to be informed on basic nutrition (I've come to love the Juice Plus supplement, and the research they have on improving gingival health). RDH Companion is a resource that provides the RDH with patient education materials that connects oral/systemic health, and offers a variety of methods to improve the biofilm, bacteria and body. We also seek to present this information in a language the patient can understand and appreciate.
Any advice for dental hygiene students?
You are entering a field that is on the cusp of great change. The medical community can no longer ignore how the bacteria in our mouth relates to the body; as a hygienist, you are on the front line of teaching the patient how to kill the bugs and heal the seal! Connect with your ADHA association to stay in the know and in relationship with other RDH's, be confident in your education (you are more that a teeth scraper!!), and take care of your body!
If you have an amazing hyginenist you'd love highlighted, email us their info @ firstname.lastname@example.org.