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Background and Objectives

• Were previously considered taboo, but there has been an increase in popularity in today’s society.
• Recent rise in alternative modifications, such as, tongue splitting, subdermal implants, and transdermal implants.
• Significant role in individuals culture; others are done for personal preference, or self-expression.
• Inform health care providers about various peri-oral modifications and the implications to oral/overall health.
• Discuss the oral care challenges.
• Explain and discuss the findings associated with modifications and the impact on treatment.
• Discuss evidence based research practices.


• Finding credible information was difficult.
• Very little research has been conducted on the topic.
• There are numerous head and neck modifications, all with various amounts of information available.
• Information provided by dental regulatory authorities
(American Dental Association) and the Canadian Government were credible sources of information.
• Clinical guidelines outlined by the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario regarding oral piercings and their care, published in (2015) was a main source of credible information.
• Sources of information older than five years were used when the information was found to be relevant.


• Remain unbiased when providing treatment.
• Knowledge of modifications is necessary: to educate clients in complications, self-care and maintenance.
• Associated with oral and overall health risks.
• Challenges to oral care for the individual and oral health care professional.
• Be aware of the findings associated with modifications and the impact on treatment .
• Stay current on trends and evidence-based practices
• Recommend clients do not undergo any modification procedures.
• Provide individualized client-centered care.
• Educate clients on self-care, signs and symptoms of complications and when to seek professional care or emergency medical treatment.
• Collaborate with clients and health care professionals to ensure client health and safety.




American Dental Association. (2019, March 27). Oral health topics. Retrieved November 19, 2019 from British Columbia Ministry of Health. Health Protection Branch (2017). Guidelines for body modification. Retrieved from healthy-safe/pses/body_modification_guidelines_nov_2017.pdf College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario. (2015). Oral piercing. Retrieved from Barnes, D. (2010). Dental modification: An anthropological perspective (Honors thesis). Retrieved from Healthwise Staff. (2017). Body piercing problems. Retrieved October 27, 2019 from