Disrupting Dentistry Podcast

40 Episodes

By: Melissa Obrotka, Tabitha Acret

Here is the story of two dental hygienists from opposite sides of the world, who became friends because they realized their professional lives were so in sync. One in Australia and one in America both exuding their passion for high-level patient care, both pushing back on legacy dentistry. If you are ready to revolutionize the practice of dental hygiene through science & innovation, then join us as we are disrupting dentistry.

The One About Menopause

In this episode of the Disrupting Dentistry podcast Tabitha and Melissa tackle the topic of Menopause and how we can support our menopausal women during this time of transition.     

The facts of menopause are very eye opening as Tabitha and Melissa review the multitude of symptoms in addition to the oral manifestations of menopause so oral health professionals can identify complications that can correlate with menopause symptoms.  This episode will help raise awareness of symptoms from menopause that manifest in many different ways. 

Menopause facts 

Crazy Hormones with Michelle

The one where we talk about red flags in the dental practice

On this episode Tabitha and Melissa disucss what red flags to look for when looking for the perfect dental practice, they chat about some of the red flags they have seen in the dental practice and what questions to ask in interviews 

The One About Disrupting the Profession

In this episode we get to chat with Kevin Lopez, AKA Kev Talks Teeth about being a male in a predominately female profession and cultural racism in dentistry.  Kevin is quiet wise beyond his years in hygiene practice and his story is inspirational. 

Kev is here is to disrupt dentistry -  and he is just getting started!  

Host Chat: The One Where We Discuss Epilepsy

In this episode Tabitha shares her personal journey as her son was just diagnosed and is being treated for epilepsy.  Tabitha and Melissa discuss and learn about the many oral connections to epilepsy and this host chat shares the facts on diagnosis,  treatment and how dental hygienists can aid in specialized care for this patient population.  

Thanks for listening!  Please leave us a review wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Keep Disrupting ;) 

The One Where We Talk About Brain Health

On this installment of disrupting dentistry with talk with USA based Dental Hygienist Angie Stone. Angie has written the book dying of dirty teeth and is an advocate for oral health in aged care facilities and patients with dementia.

On this episode we discuss what is dementia and how we can help prevent and help. This is an important episode  and one not to be missed

The One about Drug Dependence and Oral Health

Drug dependance occurs whne you need on or more drugs to function and dependance can occur in over the coutner, perscription and illegal drugs.

On the latest installment of the podcast Tabitha and Melissa discuss drug dependancy satistics, social impact, hospilisations and the health and  oral health impacts for drug dependant patients



The One Where We Talk About Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

This episode we are excited to be talking with specialist orthodontist Dr Derek Mahony. 

Derek Mahony is a Sydney based Orthodontist who has spoken to thousands of practitioners about the benefits of interceptive orthodontic treatment. Early in his career Dr. Mahony learned from leading clinicians the dramatic effect functional appliance therapy can afford patients in orthodontic treatment. He has been combining the fixed and functional appliance approach ever since. His lectures are based on the positive impact such a combined treatment approach has had on his orthodontic results and the benefits this philosophy provides in reducing extractions o...

The one where we talk with an oral cancer Survivor

Join us on this very special spisode where we chat with Theresa Ryan from Australia about her journey survining cancer, As part of Theresa's Journey she had part of her mandible removed, reconstruction surgery and chemptherapy 

We chat with her about what her journey was like, the stuggles and emotional toll it took and where she is now

Its a very emotional episode but one that all dental professionals should listen to. We hope this helps give a better understanding of what its like on the other side


Thank you Thersea fo...

The One Where We Talk with an Oral Cancer Survivor

Join us on this very special episode where we chat with Theresa Ryan from Australia about her journey surving cancer. As part of Theresa's journey she had part of her madible removed, reconstruction surgery and chemotherpay. 

We chat with her about what that journey was like, the struggels and emotional toll it took and where she is now. 

Its a very emotional episode but one that all dental professionals should listen to, so that we can get a better understanding of what its like to be on the other side 

Thank you Theresa for...

The one where we talk about oral immunology

Join us as we chat with Dr Camille Zenobia from the USA. Dr Zenobia is a scientist, innovator and Entrepreneur

Her Special interests and Passions include 
Oral health, mucosal immunology, microbiome, host-pathogen, infectious disease, skin biology, vaccine, adjuvant, inflammation/resolution, novel therapeutics, scientific writing and communication, project management, clinical design in oral and systemic health and all things Beauty.

We have a chat about her amazing career from hairdresser to scientist and the oral microbiome 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34078913/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35677024/ https://ossacare.com/

The one for Pride Month

Join the Disrupting Dentistry team as we chat with William Carson-Jones ( CJ) an OHT from Adelaide Australia about Pride month and how dental clinicans can be allys to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Please remember pride is more than one month and its important we work to be allys to the LGBTQ+ community all year 



Domestic Violence Awareness

This is a special episode dedicated to Mackenzie, Tabitha's daughter.  During this episode we discuss what are the different types of domestic violence and how as dental professionals we may be able to help with referrals to other services.

Please be aware this is an emotional episode, look after yourself.

Thank you to the Dreggs for permission to play "Give myself to you" at the end of the episode today. Please turn it up loud

May Mackenzie's memory be a blessing to everyone who knew her and may her tragic death be the c...

The One Filled with Oral Systemic Wisdom for New Grads and Seasoned Hygienists

In this episode Melissa interviews Eileen Prizzi, a seasoned dental hygienist, clinical adjunct professor, and oral systemic extraordinare.  

Eileen will drop many pearls of wisdom for the new graduates and seasoned dental hygienits alike.  You will feel inspired after listening to this episode!  Eileen touches on ergonomics, interviewing the practice, going on a "first date" before accepting a job offer, self advocacy  and many more! 



The One for Oral Cancer Awareness Month

In this episode we discuss the worldwide Oral Cancer Epidemic with OCX Guru, Susan Cotten!   Susan shares her heartfelt story of how she became passionate about OCX screenings and just wait until you hear how Donny Osmond gets involved!  

Susan shares with us the stats by the Oral Cancer Foundation that, Worldwide new new oral cancer cases are exceeding 640,000 annually.

How do we disrupt the status quo in our OP or dental surgery?  Performing comprehensive screenings.  Check you the chairside link to:  The Cotten Method of Screening

Want to learn more?  Check out Susan's website:  https://o...

The One Where We Discuss HIV and Oral Health

In this host chat episode Tabitha and Melissa discuss the statistics of patients with HIV and how HIV/AIDS impacts oral heatlh and pracitioners.  


Episode resources:  

HIV/AIDS & Oral Health

The one where we talk about communication

On this installment of Disrupting Dentistry Melissa and Tabitha talk with their friend, colleague, fellow dental hygienist and certified in DISC, Miranda Beeson. 

Miranda shares her knowledge on personality types, how disc profiling can help the dental team communicate with ear other and patients. We also discuss on how understanding our own personality helps us personally and in our work-life. 

Communication is key to everything we do and this episode we dive deep into it!



The one where we talk about hypnotherapy

On this installment of Disrupting Dentistry Tabitha and Melissa talk with Shavaya an Oral Health Therpaist  fom Perth, WA , Australia on her qualification in hypnotherpay and how she has been able to utalise these skills with anxous and nervous patients @openmind_hypnotherapy 

The one where we talk about OHI delivery

On this installement of the podcast Tabitha and Melissa talk about something they are both passionat about, Oral hygiene Instructions and the way they are delivered. 

During the episode they discuss the timing, motivators for patients, the way we recieve and send messages the importance of knowing your patients 

* disclaimer we apologise for the audio in parts of the episode unfortunately New Jersey was having some internet issues *

Episode is elidgble for 1 hour self recorded CPD 

The one where we welcome 2022

Welcome back from our Summer/Winter end of year break and catch up with Melissa and Tabitha to discuss setting goals for 2022. Melissa and Tabitha outline their personal and professional goals for 2022 and how they are going to set out to acieve them.

The one where we talk about hand instrumentation verse ultrasonic scaling

Join Melissa and Tabitha for the last episode for 2021 where we talk about hand instrumentation verse ultrasonic scaling. In this episode we discuss legacy dentistry and hand scalers, evidence based dentistry and the time to shift to minimal intervention periodontal treatment. Its time to put down your weapons and join the revolution of do no harm 


The one where we talk about bullying in the dental office

On this installment of the podcast Melissa and Tabitha discuss workplace bullying in the dental practice. What does it look like and the unique experiences  of dental hygienists and oral health therapists in private practice 

The one where we talk with Kelsey Ingram

Welcome to season 2!!

On the first installment of season two we chat with Kelsey Ingram on her research into the effects of oral health on chronic disease and the translation of this evidence into chronic disease and oral health policy in Australia. 


The one where we say happy birthday and hello to season 2



Join us to wrap up season 1, discuss our highlights and what's in stall for season 2 of Disrupting Dentistry

A special thank you to all of our guests and the listeners  who have made season 1 so much fun

The one where we talk about Dementia Awareness

Join Melissa and Tabitha for the last episode of season one dedicated to Dementia awareness month.  On this installment we discuss the prevalence  of dementia world wide, the social, emotional and financial impacts of the disease and how as Dental Hygienists and members of the health care team we can support our patients and their families 

The One Where We Get Fast and Functional with Sarah Beach

Join us as we talk with the fabulous Sarah Beach about TMD and patient pain. Sarah has had an amazing work history from working in government dental vans to dental hygiene in Switzerland, Singapore, and back to Australia working in pain management, private practice, and whitening studio. Listen to her journey and why having baseline knowledge on TMD pain and knowing who to refer to is essential for all dental clinicians. 




The One Where we Talk with an Original Disruptor

On this instalment  of the podcast we talk with Australian Dental Hygienist Paulette Smith about her journey as a Dental Hygienist in Victoria Australia. When Paulette first graduated she found herself living in a state where Dental Hygiene wasn't legal and she then found herself on a journey for a fight to make not only dental hygiene legal but to improve access and quality of dental care for the people of her state. 

Paulette didn't stop disrupting there and has gone on to be one of the first independent dental hygienists in Australia as well as disrupting th...

The One Where We Talk About Independence

On this installment of Disrupting Dentistry, we talk with the AMAZING Pamela Sargent from Maine USA. Pamela is in one of the three states in the USA where independent practice is allowed and we talk to her about her journey to owning her own hygiene studio and how she can now treat patients in the time and way she wants to, putting care as the number one priority. We promise you will be inspired! 




The One Where We Talk About Ditching the Homecare Bias

On this installment of Disrupting Dentistry Tabitha and Melissa discuss bias in the dental practice for interproximal cleaning. How we need to look at every patient as an individual and give customized care plans that are evidence based, practical, needed and wanted. 

Legacy dental has set the standard for what a lot of dental professionals recommend to patients and its time to disrupt " I have always done this" and make " what's best for this situation" the standard of care.

The One Where We Talk to the Dental HyGenius

Join Melissa and Tabitha as they chat with Tracy Baker the brains behind @itsthedentalhygenius.  Tracy is a dental hygenius and the founder and owner of The Dental Hygenius, a dental development consultancy. Tracy helps dentistry-based entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs monetize their brand, expertise, and services to create robust revenue streams. We chat on this episode about dental hygienists being an integral part of the production and heart of a dental practice and how production doesn't always have to be a dirty word.


Instagram:  @itsthedentalhygenius


The One Where We Talk About Tobacco

This episode Melissa and Tabitha discuss tobacco trends, the rise of e-cigarettes and vaping along with risks and how dental professionals play a vital role in smoking cessation for patients

If you are listening from Australia todays episode can be self reported as 1 hour CPD




The One for New Grads

Around the world many countries have a new batch of graduate dental hygienists and this episode talks about the first steps for getting a job and working in a dental office. We have tips from dental hygienists from around the world.

Congratulations New Graduates, you are our future and we are excited to see what you make of it 


Tabitha and Melissa xx

The One Where We Talk About Mobile Dentistry

Join us as we chat with Australian Dental Hygienist Jacquie Biggar about her career and how she came to set up her mobile dental business " Senior Dental Care". We also chat about the state of aged care and how Dental Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists can play a key role in improving the care and outcomes. 

For more information on Jacquie and her business, you can visit her website https://seniordentalcare.com.au/

Link to Angie Stone's book, Dying of Dirty Teeth

The One For Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Join us for the latest episode as we discuss how dental professionals are front-line workers when it comes to oral cancer education, detection, and supportive care. 

Melissa and Tabitha discuss statistics of oral cancer, risk factors and why we all need to talk about HPV with our patients. 

If you are in Australia this episode can be counted as 1 hour CPD

The One About Aged Care to Prison Dentistry & Everything in Between

Dr Mark Wotherspoon has lead an amazing life from serving  in the military, running a dental practice within a prison, owning a private dental practice, starting a mobile dentistry business for aged care and inventing oral care devices to clean oral appliances. You name it  and Dr Wotherspoon has probably done it! Join us this week as we talk with one of the true disrupters of dentistry about his dental journey and the road we see ahead.



The One About Improving Patient Access to Care

This week we are so excited to interview our first Canadian guest, out first dentist and our first male guest! Dr Bandon Duocet is an amazing human and dentist and we are so proud to share him with our disrupters. Brandon is fighting the good fight and its people like him who will change the world. Listen to  this weeks podcast to learn about how the coalition for dental care in Canada is fighting for improved access to care and better health outcomes for the population. 



The One for Eating Disorder Awareness Week

We have released a special bonus episode for eating disorder awareness week.

As dental professionals we have a unique postion in the medical team to sometimes be one of the first health care team members to identify a potenital eating disorder.  

 We are not powerless in this situation, we can be life changing support as we  can support our patients in accesing treatment for their eating disorders and help minimise and repair the damage to our patients oral health. 

As dental profrssionals we can be the the best chance for some of our pati...

The One About Smashing the Hygiene Ceiling

This we have the pleasure to interview the AMAZING Dr Melanie Hayes. Melanie started her career as a dental assistant before moving on to complete her Bachelor of Oral Health from the University  of Newcastle in Australia.  After this Mel went on to complete her Class 1 Honors, a PHD, graduate certificate in teaching, graduate certificate in  Advanced leadership and Masters in Education with a major in Career Development. And she did this all before 40 and as a mum !!!

Along with her amazing educational resume she has also held positions as  in clinical dental hygiene, lecturer, head of prog...

The One About Silver Fluoride

Sometimes disrupting means embracing old knowledge. On this weeks episode we talk with Cathy Boyce an Oral Health Therapist from Queensland, Australia. Cathy has been using silver fluoride for over 30 years and is an experienced clinician and international speaker on the subject. On this episode Cathy explains what is silver fluoride, why did we stop using it and why is it making a comeback?

In this episode its all about embracing minimal intervention dentistry, tooth preservation, stopping the caries disease process and helping our patients who need intervention and also have anxiety and or hypersensitivity.


The One About Dental Care for Oncology Patients


On Todays episode Melissa and Tabitha talk with Jill Meyer- Lippert. Jill is a USA based Dental Hygienist who took a negative experience  for her family and turned it into and inspiring business that helps both other dental clinicians, members of the health team and most importantly our patients. Jill shares her knowledge  with us on how we can help our patients with their oral care during their fight for life. 


A little about Jill

Jill Meyer- Lippert began her dental career in 1992 as a dental assistant and receptionist it was durin...

The One Where We Say Good-Bye 2020

Thank you for joining us on the start of our journey in 2020, in this episode we wrap up 2020 the year that was like no other. We discuss the trials of the year but also some of the benefits and the good we will be taking from 2020. 


Thank you again for your support so far and we look forward to continuing our journey with you. Don't forget to share with a friend and leave a review.


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