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Frequently Asked Questions: Participants Information
Preparation List for the Hands-On Course

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Preparation List for the Hands-On Course, "Ergonomics in Instrumentation to Manage Occupational Pain Including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"

To realize the greatest benefit from the course, please consider the following items:

  • Complete the enclosed "Pain Questionnaire" and bring it with you.
  • Bring a diagram of your operatory/s and photographs of you at work, if possible. We will discuss the ergonomics of your workplace and these items can be helpful to that end.
  • Bring one or two sets of your curets.
  • Wear slacks or a very full skirt so you can comfortably staddle the chair.

Program Outline:

  • The morning starts with a slide, video, audio lecture that overviews the duties of the dental hygienist and focuses on the Biocentric Instrumentation Technique.
  • After the lecture, which usually goes until lunch time, the rest of the day is hands-on. Dr. Meador, or a facilitator (trained by Dr. Meador) will work with each hygienist personally. Eight hygienists divided into two groups of four is the normal enrollment per facilitator for a half day. In a half day of four hours, two sessions of two hours each allows each hygienist a session with Dr. Meador, or a facilitator, and a session to view the videotape of the technique.
  • The group that is not with Dr. Meador, or a facilitator, in the first session will have an opportunity to view the videotape, along with the script.
  • The group that is with Dr. Meador, or a facilitator, for the first session will have the opportunity to review the videotape during the second session.
  • Time with the videotape can be helpful as a preview for one group and review for the other. In the session with Dr. Meador, or a facilitator, hands-on instrument sharpening comes first, followed by a review of the sequencing of instruments in a routine perio prophylaxis. The session includes a detailed explanation of the components of the technique and concludes with a practical guide to help in application in the office.
  • On a mannequin attached to a dental chair, all procedures are demonstrated and supervised with one hygienist while the remaining three in the group observe.

Materials provided in the workshop:

  • A workbook designed to minimize writing. Most important points are included.
  • The sharpening stone used in the hands-on session is for the individual, along with the address of the company that supplies the stones.*
  • Protocol to assist the hygienist in the many factors that are essential to integrate the skills and reap the benefits of the Biocentric Technique. On returning, the talk with the boss to achieve the best understanding of the ergonomic setting and instrument needs of the hygienist is probably the most critical event relating to successful integration.

Course Content Overview:

The lecture material recognizes the dental hygienists' pivotal role in a periodontally-oriented practice. It deals with the three basic causes of occupational pain and the corresponding three-fold corrective strategy that has been effective in rehabilitating many hygienists over the years. The presentation concludes with a detailed explanation of the Biocentric Technique.

The central theme of the day is instrumentation technique in a hands-on format designed for skill transfer.

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course each participant should understand the principles of ergonomics and orthopaedics as they impact the practicing hygienist. This should allow them to deal with the many factors that contribute to fatigue and pain in the work place. They should understand the basic concepts of instrumentation and the details of the components in the Biocentric Technique.

Course Benefits:

A survey of 150 hygienists that took the course between 1991 and 1995 clearly indicates that there had been a considerable reduction in fatigue and pain due to the proper application of ergonomic and orthopaedic principles as taught. Hygienists reported an improved self image and quality of life, both at the office and during leisure hours. This more positive attitude had helped to increase production and, in many cases, extend career life.

In addition, each participant should feel free to phone Dr. Meador at (210) 826-1884 in the event of either of the two following possibilities, i.e. (1) you are having trouble with some particular aspect of integration, (he is usually able to help over the phone, and is happy to do so) or (2) your are getting along very well, feeling less fatigue and pain, and would like to make his day by letting him know.

Come prepared for a very exciting and productive day. I look forward to meeting you in person.


Harold L. Meador, D.D.S.

* Under "Materials Provided in the Workshop," the sharpening stone and video are routinely provided with the course when it is presented at the Continuing Dental Education Department of UTHSCSA Dental School in San Antonio. These two items may not be provided at presentations in other locations. The are available through the Continuing Education Department of the dental school.

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