Get Back to Seeing 8 Patients Per Day in Hygiene

By Lexi Marino May 14, 2021

Help your hygienist achieve musculoskeletal relief and 15-minute faster procedure completion with one tool.

Watch this video to learn how the Isolite System helps you:

  • Save 15 minutes per procedure, leaving time for patient education
  • Reduce aerosols by 90%
  • Eliminate physical strain by freeing up hands from suctioning and retracting


Rolando Mia: Welcome to Dr. Tom’s Tips, Case of the Week. My name is Rolando, and this is Zyris. Today, Dr. Hirsch is going to share tips about how Isolite® is effective in hygiene. Good morning, Dr. Hirsch. How are you?

Dr. Tom Hirsch, DDS: Today we’re going to talk about how to introduce Isolite to the hygiene department.

Teach Your Dental Team How to Use Isolite®

I invented the Isolite, and it has been to market for almost 20 years now. During the 20 years that I had this, I had zero cooperation from my hygiene department as far as utilizing the Isolite. I have great hygienists, but they want to do it how they want to do it. I understand that. They’re in a real comfortable situation. They’ve got a good flow. They’ve been taught a certain way to do things in school.

Just like us, we’re very resistant and reticent to change, we don’t like to change. Once we have established a way of doing something, we want to continue to do it that way because we know it works for us, and we’re comfortable with it. So, once you start interrupting the flow you’re going to get a little bit of pushback and a little bit of resistance.

How did I beat this? When we had the first hint of COVID and when we were shut down for two months, and we didn’t do anything, and when we came back hygiene was important. I was concerned about airborne aerosol. So, I literally went into my practice one day and I said, “This is what we’re doing in hygiene henceforth. You will be utilizing the Isolite Mouthpiece in the practice. But not only will you be doing this; I’m really going to help you. I’m going to support and train you how to utilize it, how to pick out the right size, and how to put it in the patient’s mouth.”

So, you must be sympathetic to their point of view. This is new technology for them. It’s new technology for your hygienists. He or she must be accepting of your teaching them, and for the health benefits of your staff, of the patient that’s coming in directly after them, and for their own efficiency. I made the mandate and I said, “This is what we’re going to do.”

Once I said that, and we sat down and we had a real heart to heart talk as to why I wanted them to use it, it was more for safety than anything else. Once they got comfortable using it, not only was it a safer situation, but they also became much more efficient.

Other Benefits Aside From Aerosol Reduction

So, over the course of this video, I’m just going to talk to an efficiency that my hygienists have become utilizing the Isolite with the Cavitron, ultrasonic, or the piezo scaler. What’s nice about this is it picks up 90, 95% of that airborne spray that would normally be coming out of the mouth.

You can just see she’s using a lot of water, but it’s getting sucked up and sucked away. So, here she is on the lower right-hand side on the lingual. I just popped in there. She didn’t even know I was going to be doing this. I spent some time training my hygienists how to do this, how to pick out the right size mouthpiece. I spent some time helping them insert Isolite into the mouth. There’s Laura, that’s one of my hygienists. I just wanted you to see how she kind of is focused on what she’s doing.

So, look at that, two hands. One’s retracting the cheek a little bit more, but what we don’t have to worry about is we don’t have to worry about a saliva ejector or cotton rolls, or an HVE. So she can just focus on what she’s doing. She becomes much more efficient in her job, and transitioning from one side. She does one side of the mouth top to bottom. If you’re doing that, and even going into quad scalings, your amount of time for procedures is just so shortened, because you’re just so efficient in what you’re doing. The hygienist actually has a chance to talk to the patient or do whatever probing she needs to do, or he needs to do. I say she, because both my hygienists are females.

Rolando Mia: You’re using the ultrasonic scaler, which was one of the scary things during COVID-19.

Dr. Tom Hirsch, DDS: Exactly. You can see right at the front of the mouth where usually a lot of spray’s going to be coming out, we just don’t seem to have that spray, which is nice. When she’s done with the ultrasonic scaler, she just picks up her hand curettes and she starts doing the hand scaling without that.

Better Access Intraorally in Hygiene Procedures

Here, she’d gone over to the left-hand side. What is nice here is, she is able to get all the way over to the opposite cuspid. We can position that thing, so you can get pretty much three quarters of the arch done by leaving it just on one side. Good lingual access, good visibility. I also made sure I supplied my hygienists with the Isolite, so lighting is never an issue.

Rolando Mia: Now, one of the things that we’ve heard is that when the Isolite is introduced to hygiene, not enough time is spent in helping the hygienists place the mouthpiece. So, because there was some struggle, it was difficult. What quick tips would you want to give in relation to this?

Dr. Tom Hirsch, DDS: For the hygienists that are out there, tell your doctor, “Hey, I know you have this for me. I want you to teach me how to use it.” Or ask the assistants, because the assistants are going to be great at choosing sizes and putting this in the mouth. My assistants put Isolite in for me most of the time. It’s a team effort. Use your team, ask your doctor. That’s what they are there for.

No More ‘Tongue Wars’

Rolando Mia: That is awesome. First of all, really appreciate it. It was originally brought into some of the practices because of the fear of aerosols and all that. Now that hygiene teams are using this system more frequently, they are discovering that there are so many additional things that it can to help in maximizing efficiency.

Dr. Tom Hirsch, DDS: Rolando, it just makes things easy. One of the things that’s really cool is you never have to fight the tongue. There are never these tongue wars. As you saw, the whole time, the tongue never got in the way. And if Isolite wasn’t in the mouth, the tongue would be in the way of the entire procedure. It’s always there, it’s always poking around. It’s always looking for a little something to touch.

Rolando Mia: Yeah, and I love, I don’t know why this one always cracks me up. All the hygienists who use it say one of the most wonderful, beyond the evacuation, the tongue, all that, keeping the mouth open, is patients can’t talk. So, I guess there’s definitely value in that.

Dr. Tom Hirsch, DDS: The patients can’t talk. Hygienists never use bite blocks, but this thing has a bite block in it. The patient just rests, and they’re relaxed. The patient comes out of the procedure much more relaxed. And hey, are there some patients that just don’t tolerate it? Yeah, there are, maybe there’s 5% of the patients. Maybe there’s 10% of the patients in hygiene that say they just don’t like it, or they’re kind of set in their ways.

So, you’re not going to go in there on every patient and cram it in their mouth and make it a bad experience. There’s going to be sometimes when you just can’t use it. And that’s the way it is.

Rolando Mia: Yeah, I love it. Support, educate, reach out to your DAs, or your team, to help in placing the mouthpiece. Thank you so much, Dr. Hirsch.