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Most dental hygienists would agree that motivating patients to adopt good oral health behaviors-often referred to as compliance-is the most challenging aspect of practice. This critical component of patient care is not unique to dentistry and dental hygiene. In 2010, the costs of health care in the United States exceeded $2.7 trillion with "between $100 and $300 billion of avoidable health-care costs [attributable] to nonadherence in the US annually."1 Nonadherence (a term used in the medical literature, which is synonymous with noncompliance) is associated with progression of disease and, subsequently, poor health outcomes resulting in an additional burden of billions per year in avoidable health-care costs. Patient compliance is a multifaceted issue that is influenced by many factors. As oral health researchers continue to provide scientific evidence to further the connection between oral and systemic health, it has never been more important for dental hygienists, as disease prevention specialists, to adopt techniques that can improve communication and patient compliance.


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