scrapers/polishers,” and the grave injustice
this mentality does to the millions of patients
who need their hygienists to be more engaged
in their practice as outlined by the ADHA
Standards of Practice.
Judy would love to see hygienists as the
“internists” of dentistry. She feels that dental
hygienists are the most important players in
comprehensive health care and would like
general dentists and periodontists to support
them in this vital role. She has fought hard to
see this in Washington State. One of her greatest accomplishments was winning a grueling
lawsuit brought by the Washington State
Dental Department and initiated by periodontists in California and Washington. Judy
was treated disrespectfully by the state for
over two years, and after a two-day intensive
trial with expert witnesses and direct patient
testimonials, the judge handed down a decision within six weeks in favor of Judy, her
regenerative periodontal therapy protocols,
and the comprehensive level of care provided
by PerioPeak Innovations.
As difficult as the case was, it set a precedent for future periodontal therapists in
Washington by establishing and clarifying
the laws in the scope of practice, hygiene
diagnosis and treatment planning, advertising, DNA and medical testing, treating advanced periodontitis in the general practice,
regenerative proteins and host-modulated
therapy in dental hygiene care, and working
as an independent contractor in dental hygiene using the dental endoscope. Being an
entrepreneur and directing and owning PerioPeak Innovations has allowed Judy the freedom, income, fulfillment, and autonomy that
she appreciates. She feels lucky to be able to
help advanced periodontal cases from around
the world with her regenerative periodontal
therapies in a nonsurgical manner. Judy treats
her patients holistically by helping them discover the cause and systemic effects of inflammatory diseases.
If she were not a hygienist, Judy would be
either a medical doctor specializing in internal medicine or a park ranger. She describes
herself as persistent, compassionate, and
inquisitive about people, animals, and nature.
She realizes the importance of sharing her
knowledge with other dental professionals.
After participating in her programs, Judy’s
audiences have a new way of looking at periodontal therapy methodology and
1. Holland GR, Narhi MN, Addy M, Gangarosa L,
Orchardson R. Guidelines for the Design and Conduct
of Clinical Trials on Dentine Hypersensitivity. Journal of
Clinical Periodontology, 1997;24:808-13.
2. Orchardson R, Collins W. Clinical Features of
Hypersensitive Teeth British Dental Journal, 1987;
3. Absi EG, Addy M, Adams D. Dentin Hypersensitivity:
A Study of the Patency of Dentinal Tubules in Sensitive
and Non-Sensitive Cervical Dental. Journal of Clinical
4. Rimondini L. Baron C, Carrassi A. Ultrastructure of
Hypersensitive and Non-Sensitive Dentin. Journal of
Clinical Periodontology. 1995; 22:899-902.
continued from pg. 68
in 2000, she opened her independent periodontal therapy practice, PerioPeak Innovations, in 2001, and her patients come from all
over the world. Judy’s education is focused
solely on periodontal medicine to enhance
her understanding and treatment of the host
response. During the last 17 years she has
limited her clinical practice to regenerative
periodontal endoscopy (RPE) methodology.
She has documented thousands of full-mouth
periodontal cases that have enhanced her
understanding of the disease and host response through observational hands-on research. Her endoscopic protocols have been
successful in treating all stages of periodontitis, many of which were considered
Judy is excited to share her vision of managing disease with others while engaging in
critical thinking skills and providing comprehensive integrative care. As a lifelong learner,
Judy has attended many medical and dental
programs and has educated herself on nutrition, microbiology, epigenetics, and integrative medicine. She is interested in all aspects
of total health and gaining a better understanding of all inflammatory diseases, how
they are connected to periodontal diseases,
and how to treat and prevent them.
She enjoys spending time outdoors con-
necting with the natural world through hiking,
camping, scuba diving, and snorkeling. She
enjoys teaching her 18-year-old son what’s
important in life—values, respect, joy, kind-
ness, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence.
Judy has been an ADHA member for over 15
years and is concerned about the “dumbing
down” of hygienists. She’s troubled by dentists
who view hygienists as simply “tooth
is the length of time that the relief may last.
A great deal of success has been achieved
with long-term use of sensitivity toothpastes
that desensitize the nerve endings in the
dentinal tubules, but it may take days or
weeks of using the pastes for the patient to
get relief (and continued use of the tooth-
paste is indicated).
Products that block or plug the dentinal
tubules typically provide more immediate
and longer-lasting relief. These include bioactive glass ionomer resins such as Activa
from Pulpdent, as well as paint-on resins
such as Pain-Free Gel from Parkell and Shield
Force Plus from Tokuyama.
For example, Tokuyama’s product information states that its Double Block Technology provides instant comfort for patients
that can last up to three years, safeguarding
them from additional pain in the future.
Shield Force Plus is also glutaraldehyde free,
making it a safer and more convenient treatment option than some other products.
Figure 2 offers an example of the application instructions for the treatment of dentinal
hypersensitivity/coating of exposed cervical
dentin using Shield Force Plus by Tokuyama
Dental America, an in-office treatment option for long-term desensitizing.
Again, hygienists should be thorough in
their product research to compare product
characteristics, such as the ability of a resin
applied to exposed dentin to penetrate the
dentin for optimal occlusion of dental tubules as well as retention on the tooth.
Treating dentin hypersensitivity is a
good news/bad news situation. The good
news is that there are many effective products to choose from in the current marketplace. The bad news (if you call it that)
is that it does take some time to sort
through the products, the information for
application in various situations and patients, and determine the appropriate
protocol for each individual patient. RDH
Mary Govoni, MBA, RDH, CDA, RDA, is an
internationally recognized speaker, author, and
consultant, working with dental teams for more
than 40 years on clinical efficiency, infection
prevention, ergonomics, and team communication.
She has published numerous articles in Dental
Economics, The Dental Assistant
Journal, RDH magazine, Dentistry Today, Inside
Dentistry, and others.