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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

May 15, 2019

This week Michelle and Andrew continue their 4-part cariology series, where they consult with the experts on how to properly diagnose, treat and prevent cavities that makes up so much of our profession. Returning for part two is Pam Maragliano-Muniz, Editor-in-Chief of Inside Dental Hygiene, the owner of Salem Dental Arts, and an experienced prosthodontist/hygienists.

 In this episode, Pam breaks down how she categorizes and treats patients by risk, discusses the importance of documenting each patient, and explains the counterintuitive impact sealants have on caries.


Interview starts: 8:07

- What signs to be on the lookout for when determining caries risk.

- Why we need to encourage patients to take responsibility for any dental issues they may have.

- The different kinds of relationships Pam forms with high-, moderate- and low-risk patients.

- Why Pam recommends fluoride varnish for all of her patients and also thinks you should give its chlorhexidine counterpart a shot.

- How patients can not only fail to notice xerostomia but unwittingly adapt to it as well.

- Baking soda: the tried and true method for increasing oral pH.

- Why clear, accessible documentation is key in tracking patient risk.

- How the sealants we used to celebrate may have actually worsened some caries.


“I can’t express enough that we have to get patients to own their problems.”

“Whatever is something that is doable for you—every single patient, every single appointment—I say just do it.”

“If you are using arginine as part of your protocols and you’re having amazing luck with, I say do it!”

“If they’re subconsciously drawn to beverages, snacks, foods, it’s oftentimes the body seeking more salivary flow.”

“At the end of the day if the patient says ‘no,’ we really need to document that.”


Pam’s email:

Pam on Instagram:

Inside Dental Hygiene:

IDH on Instagram:


Mouthwatch is the official sponsor the Cariology Series this month. They are offering an extra 10% off every MouthWatch intraoral camera order using the code “ATOTH” You can save an additional 10% when you buy more than one! EVERY HYGIENIST SHOULD HAVE A CAMERA IN THEIR OPERATORY! Head over to their site to find out more! Offer heard at minute 4:30.


Thank you to Paradise Dental Technologies aka PDT for providing sponsorship for this episodes CE credits!

THIS EPISODE COUNTS FOR CE! - but read the disclaimer below as it might not count for your state.

Go here to take the test and get your CE Credit!

 Approved Pace Program Provider FAGD/MAGD Credit Approval Does Not Imply Acceptance By A State Or Provincial Board of Dentistry Or AGD Endorsement. 1/1/18- 12/31/19 Provider #373236

Be sure to thank the sponsor for CE for this episode by heading over to and picking up a new instrument or telling them thank you in person at one of the conferences!

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