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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

May 22, 2019

It’s part three of four of Andrew and Michelle’s cariology series! As we near the final stretch, this episode’s specific focus is on the tools and methods used to figure out if that little recess is a cavity or something else.

Paresh Shah, DMD, has been practicing privately in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for nearly three decades. Outside of his clinics, he’s a prosthodontic instructor at the University of Manitoba Dental School and an editor for the Canadian Journal of Restorative Dentistry. Paresh’s years running a clinic have taught him the importance of using the latest diagnostic tools and listening to the input of his seasoned hygienists.

In this episode, Dr. Shah weighs the pros and cons of different caries diagnostic methods, reveals how he’s learned to spot false positives, and explains why he takes a collective approach to his clinic staff.


Interview starts: 12:00

- Dr. Shah explains how he fosters a collaborative environment in his practice and what lengths his team goes to in order to identify caries.

 - Some helpful tips for visually identifying caries during examination.

- Why Dr. Shah and his team still stand by tactile exploration during caries diagnosis.

- Newer clinical tools that get the patients themselves more invested in the diagnosis process.

- How hygienists can more effectively ‘hand off’ patients to the dentist for caries diagnosis.

 - Why time and experience are the best experience for dealing with false positives.

- The reason Dr. Shah will still swear on a caries dye after all these years.

- The wide array of diagnostic tools Dr. Shah and his staff use at his clinic.

- Why Dr. Shah values his hygienists’ clinical judgment and encourages them to speak up.



“A lot of hygienists can be more than tooth-scrapers.”

“Our traditional way of looking at caries is through visual inspection and tactile sense.”

“If it sticks, we're treating it. It's as simple as that.”

“If there's something I feel is not necessary to treat, I make sure I let the patient know the why of not wanting to treat it.” 

“You have to stretch your mind and you have to work collaboratively.”



Dr. Paresh Shah's homepage -

Dr Shah 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 6:35.

Thank you to our sponsor for this episode, and many of our episodes, Zirc! Zirc believes in helping you work smarter, not harder through organization and tools that allow you to perform your job to the fullest! Listen for the promo at minute 9:50 of this episode!

The special offer for this episode is: FREE MR. THIRSTY SAMPLE when you buy a 50 pack of Linguafix CODE: TALESAMPLE

Zirc, Because Time is Everything.


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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