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Missed calculus

Feel defeated. There have been some cases lately that are difficult when it comes to bleeding and tenacious cal. I just recently finished an SRP case and then a couple weeks later my Dr. Placed a crown and took a PA and there was still sub left in some areas! I not only feel embarrassed but defeated thinking I had gotten everything and it still being there. Any tips? I feel like a horrible clinician with sub being left. Not to mention I feel like my Dr. Thinks less of me for it.



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3 Answers

Don’t feel defeated! Even though we try, we are not miracle workers and may accidentally miss something. Going forward, make sure you use an 11/12 explorer after you are finished scaling to check your work. You can also take a post-SRP PA to check for deposits. However, only heavy calculus, interproximally, will show on a PA because it’s only 2D, but it is an option. Make sure your instruments are sharp and aren’t over due for being replaced. If you have dull and/or overused instruments, even if you are scaling effectively, calculus can be left and even burnished. The same goes for ultrasonic inserts. Speaking of the ultrasonic, make sure your power isn’t too low or too high; both can lead to left and burnished calculus.
 
I realize its easy to feel defeated and embarrassed, but no one is perfect. As long as you did your best and you are trying to find solutions, you are doing awesome! Scalers up, you got this!

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I have been a hygienist since 1988 and I still miss calculus. It can happen to anyone. My best advice is to make sure your instruments are sharp! Good luck and keep scaling !

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The same situation happened to me this week. I felt horrible afterwards and it makes me feel like I am failing as a dental hygienist.

My office only allows 1 hour for 2 quadrants of SRP, unless I ask them for more time. In some cases I do ask for more time, and then I’m considered “slow”.

My dentist does not want to buy new instruments for hygiene and she even said one time that ultrasonic tips are supposed to last forever!!! When I told her she was incorrect, she just looked at me like I had no idea what I was talking about.

How would you approach your dentist on investing in new hygiene instruments?

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