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News Americas

With the Dental Clip Mirror, dental hygienists can provide high-quality treatment for patients. (Photograph: Patricia Blundon)
0 Comments Aug 11, 2017 | News Americas

Interview: “Clip Mirror improves dental hygiene treatment”

Post a comment by Julia Maciejek, DTI

PEMBROKE, Ontario, Canada: Dental hygienist Patricia Blundon is the developer of a mirror that clips on to a saliva ejector to aid dental hygienists, therapists and assistants in treating patients. In response to growing demand for the Dental Hygiene Clip Mirror, she has introduced the device to the U.S. market and plans to expand her business globally. Dental Tribune Online spoke with Blundon, who has 30 years’ experience and graduated from the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario, to learn more about the mirror.

Helping to improve treatment has always been important in dentistry. Why did you decide on developing the Clip Mirror and setting up your business, D.H. Essentials?
The Clip Mirror idea came to me about ten years into my career. I was working on a patient with a super strong lower lip and a protruding tongue. With a scaler in one hand and mirror in the other and the patient’s tongue pushing out the saliva ejector, I thought to myself, “Why does this need to be so hard?”. I thought about having a mirror clip directly on to the saliva ejector to free up a hand and wondered why no one had invented this. Then I thought to myself, “Who better to invent a dental tool than a dental hygienist?”.

When designing the Clip Mirror, what did you pay attention to?
I knew the design I wanted and I visited a multitude of hardware stores to see what clips were available. The steel for the clip had to be medical grade and 400 series so that it would not rust or corrode with sterilization, and the clip itself was designed to snap securely to the saliva ejector while still allowing rotation if needed. I designed the rolled clip ends so one can feed a line of floss through and attach the Clip Mirror to the saliva ejector using sterile tape as an added precaution in hospital settings or compromised patients. I chose the brighter size 5 titanium mirror, as the standard rhodium pales in brightness and quality in comparison, and then decided to have the clip electron beam welded by hand for the best results.

What is the importance of good ergonomics for dental hygienists and clinicians?
The key reason I designed the Clip Mirror was to make the job of dental hygienists and clinicians easier on their body and more efficient. As the population ages, dental clinicians may find themselves using a less than ideal posture while craning their necks and contorting their bodies to complete the necessary treatment. I would encourage dental care providers to try various products to find what works best for them to help maintain proper posture, as we all know dentistry can take a huge toll on one’s body.

What has user feedback been so far?
Feedback on the Clip Mirror has been great, and for those who have struggled in the past, like I have, with no help from a dental nurse or assistant, it has been a great body and time saver. Many report finding it very helpful when they have a patient who cannot recline and need to scale the maxillary lingual surface. I have received some feedback requesting a smaller mirror size for use with patients with a narrow or smaller arch and will be introducing the Clip Mirror MINI in the near future.

Dental hygienists have been asking about the Clip Mirror, stating they wish their employers would purchase them for their hygiene tray setups. Many have seen the value of the Clip Mirror in increasing their productivity and easing the daily physical stressors of providing dental hygiene treatment. The majority of purchases are by dental hygienists who are already suffering from a career of dental hygiene.

How has the success of the Clip Mirror been globally?
I decided to introduce the Clip Mirror to the U.S. after years of market research and positive feedback from my Canadian customers. I have had customer interest from Australia, Ireland and the UK and would love to team up with a partner to serve these markets and many others. Dentistry is worldwide, so the sky is the limit.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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