ADHA Access March_2013 : Page 26
Lynn Groff, RDH, owner of Pocket Resolution, with a patient. WKH2KLR6WDWH8QLYHUVLW\LQc;b; ³,ZLOOIRUHYHUEHLQGHEW to Hoying for the training, encouragement and support he and his wife offered me,” she said. $IWHUJUDGXDWLRQ�f;&KHVVHUWRRNDMRE�f;DJHQHUDOSUDFWLFH residency at Good Samaritan hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where she met her future husband, an Air Force pilot. They assion and dedication are family traits that Peggy KDGWKHRSSRUWXQLW\WROLYHLQPDQ\VWDWHVDQGWKH8QLWHG Chesser, RDH, BA, and her 10 siblings inherited from their Kingdom. This allowed Chesser the chance to get a dental parents. Her father worked in a farm machinery factory, K\JLHQHOLFHQVHLQVHYHUDOVWDWHV²ZKHUHYHUWKH\ZRXOG while her mother raised the 11 kids on a working farm in be stationed long enough to make the price of taking the Coldwater, Ohio. Chesser’s work ethic, coupled with the dental hygiene board examination worthwhile. many dental issues she faced in her youth, led her to her $IWHUQLQHPRYHVZLWKWKHPLOLWDU\�f;WKHIDPLO\ZDV¿QDOO\ ¿UVWMREDVDGHQWDODVVLVWDQW VWDWLRQHGDW1HOOLV$LU)RUFH%DVHLQ/DV9HJDV�f;1HY�f;DQG “In short, I am a dental that’s where they now call QLJKWPDUH,WKRXJKWD¿V -home. Chesser’s husband “People know when you genuinely care WXODZDVMXVWDQRUPDOSDUW HYHQWXDOO\JRWRXWRIWKH of the oral anatomy since I 86$)�f;WKHFRXSOHGLYRUFHG about them. They are more likely to be always had one,” Chesser DQGKHPRYHG&KHVVHU a co-owner of their oral health if they VDLG%\KHUMXQLRU\HDURI and their two sons contin-high school, a new dentist XHGWROLYHLQ/DV9HJDV respect what you say and do.” came to town and partnered ³,KDYHVDLGPDQ\�f; with the only other dentist many times that I am so —Peggy Chesser, RDH, BA in her town of 4,000 people. grateful for my career in ³$WP\¿UVWYLVLW�f;,WKLQN dental hygiene, because, I had 10-12 decayed teeth; RQH�f;,ORYHZKDW,GR�f;DQG many needed root canal treatments. I was not the most two, it afforded me the ability to raise my two kids on my FRRSHUDWLYHGHQWDOSDWLHQW:KHQWKHGHQWLVWRIIHUHGP\ RZQ�f;´&KHVVHUH[SODLQHG³&KDOOHQJLQJ�f;\HV�f;EXWYHU\GR -PRPWKHRSSRUWXQLW\IRUPHWRKDYHP\GHQWDOZRUNGRQH DEOH,ZRUNHG¿YHGD\VDZHHNLQFOLQLFDOGHQWDOK\JLHQH in exchange for my becoming his dental assistant, my mom DQGFOHDQHGDQRI¿FHHYHU\HYHQLQJWREHDEOHWRSXWP\ MXPSHGRQLW�f;´&KHVVHUVDLG³0\PRPZDVPXFKPRUHH[ -ER\VWKURXJKFROOHJH,KDYHQRUHJUHWV´ FLWHGDERXWLWWKDQ,ZDV,ZRUNHGLQWKLVGHQWDORI¿FHIRU 2YHUWKH\HDUVLQ/DV9HJDV�f;&KHVVHUZRUNHGLQYDULRXV the remainder of my high school years and during the sum-GHQWDORI¿FHVe;PRVWUHFHQWO\�f;VKHZRUNHGIRXUGD\VDZHHN mer. Upon graduation, this dentist, Robert Hoying, DDS, LQDWKUHH GRFWRUSHULRGRQWDORI¿FHDQGFRQWLQXHGRQHGD\ encouraged me to consider a career in dental hygiene.” DZHHNLQDJHQHUDOUHVWRUDWLYHSUDFWLFH,QWKHSHULRGRQWDO &ROGZDWHUGLGQ¶WKDYHDK\JLHQLVWDWWKHWLPH�f;VR RI¿FH�f;WKH\SHUIRUPHGWUDGLWLRQDOVFDOLQJDQGURRWSODQ -&KHVVHUKDGRQO\+R\LQJ¶VMREGHVFULSWLRQRQZKLFKWREDVH LQJ�b;653�c;WKHUDS\DVHYHU\RWKHURI¿FHGLGXQWLO a;d; her career choice. She earned her bachelor’s degree from “blindly.” At that time, the decision was made to use the This edition of “Working” highlights two dental hy-gienists, each of whom has found a niche in perios-copy. P 26 MAR 2013 access
Peggy Chesser, RDH, BA
This edition of “Working” highlights two dental hygienists, each of whom has found a niche in perioscopy.<br /> <br /> Passion and dedication are family traits that Peggy Chesser, RDH, BA, and her 10 siblings inherited from their parents. Her father worked in a farm machinery factory, while her mother raised the 11 kids on a working farm in Coldwater, Ohio. Chesser's work ethic, coupled with the many dental issues she faced in her youth, led her to her first job as a dental assistant. <br /> <br /> "In short, I am a dental nightmare. I thought a fistula was just a normal part of the oral anatomy since I always had one," Chesser said. By herjunior year of high school, a new dentist came to town and partnered with the only other dentist in her town of 4,000 people. <br /> <br /> "At my first visit, I think I had 10-12 decayed teeth; many needed root canal treatments. I was not the most cooperative dental patient. When the dentist offered my mom the opportunity for me to have my dental work done in exchange for my becoming his dental assistant, my mom jumped on it," Chesser said. "My mom was much more excited about it than I was. I worked in this dental office for the remainder of my high school years and during the summer. Upon graduation, this dentist, Robert Hoying, DDS, encouraged me to consider a career in dental hygiene." <br /> <br /> Coldwater didn't have a hygienist at the time, so Chesser had only Hoying's job description on which to base her career choice. She earned her bachelor's degree from the Ohio State University in 1980. "I will forever be in debt to Hoying for the training, encouragement and support he and his wife offered me," she said. <br /> <br /> After graduation, Chesser took a job, a general practice residency at Good Samaritan hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where she met her future husband, an Air Force pilot. They had the opportunity to live in many states and the United Kingdom. This allowed Chesser the chance to get a dental hygiene license in several states — wherever they would be stationed long enough to make the price of taking the dental hygiene board examination worthwhile. <br /> <br /> After nine moves with the military, the family was finally stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev., and that's where they now call home. Chesser's husband eventually got out of the USAF, the couple divorced and he moved. Chesser and their two sons continued to live in Las Vegas. <br /> <br /> "I have said many, many times that I am so grateful for my career in dental hygiene, because, one, I love what I do, and two, it afforded me the ability to raise my two kids on my own," Chesser explained. "Challenging, yes, but very doable. I worked five days a week in clinical dental hygiene and cleaned an office every evening to be able to put my boys through college. I have no regrets." <br /> <br /> Over the years in Las Vegas, Chesser worked in various dental offices; most recently, she worked four days a week in a three-doctor periodontal office and continued one day a week in a general restorative practice. In the periodontal office, they performed traditional scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy as every other office did until 2007: "blindly." At that time, the decision was made to use the perioscopes that were in the office, sitting in the corners ofthe operatories collecting dust. <br /> <br /> "At first we only did Phase II treatment with the scope, those pockets that didn't respond to 'blind,' traditional root planing," Chesser said. "About that time, the doctors urged us to go to visit John Kwan, DDS, the new owner of Perioscopy Incorporated. Kwan purchased the rights to the perioscopy technology because he recognized the value it offered patients as a clinically excellent alternative to traditional osseous surgery." <br /> <br /> "We spent time with Kwan, and we were absolutely amazed at the image he consistently got with his machines and the fantastic results he consistently got with perioscopy therapy. Besides that, the patients loved it, too. No surgery, minimal pain," Chesser said. <br /> <br /> "After that, we did all of our SRP procedures with the perioscopes. Osseous surgeries became a rare event because ofthe great results we achieved with perioscopy therapy." After the trip to Berkeley to watch what Kwan and his hygienists could do, Chesser's office made the necessary modifications to the machine as Kwan recommended and proceeded to work diligently to excel at this technology. <br /> <br /> "I don't know if I can tell you how much I dig this technology," Chesser said. "It took a lot of patience, practice and perseverance (and quite a few tears were shed) but this technology is everything a hygienist strives to do. Not one of us leaves calculus behind on purpose, so to be able to meticulously debride the roots in the furcations and 'visualize' root abnormalities (like resorption, fractures, perforations, furcation involvement) is extraordinary. Perioscopy therapy will soon be the 'gold standard' of periodontal therapy in my opinion." <br /> <br /> In May 2012, Chesser parted ways with the periodontal practice where she had been working. She is now the proud owner of Innovative Perioscopy, LLC. This was not a decision she came to lightly. It took all of her savings to purchase two endoscopes and all ofthe necessary equipment associated with it. <br /> <br /> "I really did a lot ofsoul-searching about where I wanted to go with my career," she said. "After 32 years of dental hygiene, I didn't want to do five days of traditional clinical therapy anymore. Once you get the opportunity to master the perioscope, you really can't go back to 'blind' scaling anymore — at least, I couldn't. It's like giving up your loupes and light, or your ultrasonic machine. I don't know any other mobile perioscopy businesses to model after, but Kwan; Suzanne Newkirk, RDH; Michele Tratos, DDS (the general dentist I continue to work with one day a week); and my family were incredibly supportive of my decision to start my business. Scared for me, but supportive nonetheless. What I will be forever thankful for is the support I got from my fellow dental hygienists. It was truly a leap of faith. But I know that, with hard work, I can make this business work. I am not afraid of hard work and I am very confident in my skills." <br /> <br /> Chesser had gone to the Nevada dental board with questions about starting her business and thought she had everything in order. "As soon as I hit the dental offices, though, the dentists started calling the dental board with questions about the legality of my business. I immediately wrote to the dental board asking for an official 'advisory opinion.' <br /> <br /> "In September, I received a unanimous decision from the dental board (after being questioned by their lawyer and any board member) of their approval. Their concerns were 1) about my 'diagnosing' treatment and 2) how I would get paid." <br /> <br /> In Nevada, it's illegal for Chesser to get paid per procedure code, a practice called "fee splitting." Instead, Chesser sets her hourly rate high enough so that it encompasses her skill, the disposable sheath that is required per patient, her perioscope machine fee and a pro-rated fee for the actual fiberoptic camera. <br /> <br /> "What I want people to take away from reading about my pursuit is that it's okay to take a risk. I just knew that I was going to be really disappointed in myself if I retired from my very rewarding career still working without taking the chance. As my other hero, Eleanor Roosevelt, said, 'The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.'This business, Innovative Perioscopy, was my dream," Chesser said. <br /> <br /> "I am passionate about what I do; I just want to have more control over my work life. I'm really good at what I do, so I want to be the master of my own destiny. Finishing my career with a successful business would be a dream come true." <br /> <br /> Chesser advises dental hygienists to work hard at clinical and communication skills every day to get better. "People know when you genuinely care about them. They are more likely to be a coowner of their oral health if they respect what you say and do," Chesser said. She also recommends finding a mentor, someone with really good clinical and verbal skills who can help you in your weak areas. "I believe we can all be excellent at what we do. We need to help empower each other to be the best we can be." <br /> <br /> For more information on Chesser or her career, please email her at IC2clean@gmail.com.<br /> <br /> Compassion and positive experiences at her childhood dental office, and a fascination with the cause-and-effect relationships in science, are what moved Lynn Groff, RDH, to a career in dental hygiene. <br /> <br /> "I remember when I was in the fourth grade, after experiencing such positive interactions with my own dentist and hygienist, I was inspired to become a dental hygienist,"Groffexplained. "I had many conversations with my childhood hygienist about how and why she became one." <br /> <br /> Groff's passion for helping others is rooted in health and wellness; she sees the importance of her work as a recipe for wellness. This enthusiasm has led Groff through her career as a clinical hygienist to being CEO of her own mobile perioscopy company, Pocket Resolution. <br /> <br /> "The idea of creating this awareness and level of health means everything to me," she said. "My goal is to provide a recipe, with the right ingredients and portions, which will allow me to educate what health means on a visual level using perioscopy." <br /> <br /> Groffearned an associate degree in dental hygiene from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1990. She worked in private clinical dental hygiene practice in Chicago for a year after graduating. The next year, she obtained her California licensure at University ofthe Pacific. She currently holds active Northeast Board and California state licensure. Groff has resided and been providing individualized clinical care within private practice in Southern California ever since. In addition to her mobile perioscopy business, she currently works as a periodontal therapist in private practice for a periodontist. <br /> <br /> "Oral health has always been my professional foundation," Groff said. In 2002, she was introduced to perioscopy at an evening study club. The opportunity to assist DentalView in raising awareness within her dental community began when she worked in sales, marketing and clinical specialty of perioscopy. Her understanding of the technique and her ability to educate by building a rapport with patients and colleagues are what set Groff apart. The marketing and sales side of perioscopy involved presenting educational material at meetings for potential colleagues interested in pursuing this technology. Groff's role was to provide hands-on education for her colleagues to demonstrate the level of care achievable through perioscopy. <br /> <br /> From the sales side, she regularly attended conventions representing DentalView, to educate interested doctors on the potential that subgingival magnification perioscopy has to offer. "How it works in everyday clinical practice, how to implement the instrument in the treatment and diagnosis of dental care was the main purpose of my conversations," she said. "I found that doctors had concerns about who would play the role in the clinical use of the perioscopy technology and how they would recover their investment. It forced me to think about how something so simple and obvious to me was not to others caring for patients in the same profession as me. Why couldn't they understand how subgingival magnified vision should never be questioned? What seemed obvious was that if a practice had someone to clinically provide perioscopy therapy, the practice would thrive." <br /> <br /> "I realized that seeing is believing! Patients can only benefit f r om the ability to detect and treat infections with endoscopic vision," she said. "It became clear to me that this was going to be an area where I wanted to create awareness. This is where my mobile care concept began to flourish in my mind." <br /> <br /> In the years following her work with DentalView and working in private practice, Groff returned to work for her "greatest mentor," Marvin Sparks, DDS. Sparks expressed an interest in the specialized care she was providing patients with perioscopy. He offered to purchase a scope for use in his practice if she would commit to come back to work with him providing perioscopy services. When Sparks retired, he offered to sell Groff the same perioscope. "He knew what providing this level of patient care meant to me," she said. "My concept of mobile perioscopy care was first considered for development then, in 2007. I began to network and, in the process, met the periodontist I work with today, when I am not providing mobile perioscopy care." <br /> <br /> "Using perioscopy to care for my patients in clinical practice allows me to grow as a clinician every day I practice dental hygiene. I know I would never practice again without direct vision, just like I would never drive my car at night without headlights." <br /> <br /> In 2011, Groff developed Pocket Resolution with the intention of advancing patient options. This was to be her new normal, a "gold standard" in treatment, and she intended to take it to private dental practices to educate colleagues about how perioscopy therapy creates an opportunity to enhance the patient care already being provided. <br /> <br /> "Commitment is the foundation of oral health. Providing choices and options for my patients creates a sense of a new start, which in turn proves to be fresh, new and exciting. In a way, i t creates peace of mind," she explained. "For colleagues, my work promoting oral health with perioscopy provides a new foundation to better serve patients with a similar philosophy as mine, if they choose. I only ask that they embrace the patients they provide care to and know some have been treated with surgery and/or repetitive scaling and root planing sessions, yet still are required to work at managing oral infection." <br /> <br /> Pocket Resolution creates a "practice within a practice," delivering mobile perioscopy care to private dental practices that otherwise offer patient care at the endoscopic instruments level. As an employee of a dentist, Groff provides perioscopy services on an as-need basis. With this "gold standard" of care utilizing her perioscopy services, dental practices provide an option to treat patients that maintain unresolved periodontal conditions and previously nondiagnosable restorative breakdown. This allows general dentists, periodontists and other specialists to offer their patients the option to evaluate, treat and detect dental disease or a condition responsible for oral infection nonsurgically, with the higher level of discovery subgingival endoscopy allows. <br /> <br /> "From my perspective, our patients expect that, after we treat them, that they will be well," Groff said. "Perioscopy provides a level of certainty for better oral health. The expected level of responsibility as caregivers is to provide the highest level of care to each and every patient who pays for our services." <br /> <br /> But working with her patients in private practice isn't farreaching enough for Groff. "Community service is an area that I am exploring as a way to give back," she said. Also on the horizon for Groff is the possibility of speaking at study clubs to help educate dental professionals ofthe benefits ofworking with perioscopy care. Her local component, the Orange County Dental Hygienist Society, provides regular community clinical care in which she will be participating. <br /> <br /> Groff's goal is to get her colleagues on board with new technology that improves the level of care practitioners can provide to patients. "I would like others to be excited that we have technology to visually guide our awareness about subgingival instrumentation and detection skills. A lot of dental practitioners are unaware that perioscopy provides an opportunity to improve our patients' health in the least invasive way," she said. <br /> <br /> "If you have a passion associated with an idea, pursue it. Have mentors, and choose many. Write down your goals, create a plan to achieve them, revisit it regularly and add new goals as they come to you. Invest in yourself, network with people who have businesses you admire, and meet with them regularly." <br /> <br /> Groff acknowledged that the need for change is hard to recognize, not to mention act upon. "The economy may make it hard to find a better position that will feed you professionally, but remember, stay positive, imagine what and where you want to be and why. Success will follow." <br /> <br /> For more information on Groff or her career, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. <br /> <br /> This edition of Working was prepared by Mariam Pera.