6 Ways to Organize Your Op for Maximum Efficiency

Everyone knows that feeling you get when you walk into a space that is cluttered, crowded, or disheveled. A little anxiety starts to bubble up, and you immediately want to leave or start cleaning. You don’t want to have this feeling when you walk into your workspace, and you certainly don’t want your patients to feel that way. You...

Reflections in My Dental Mirror: Tips for Younger Hygienists

My dental career began in Goose Creek, South Carolina, in 1987 at the ripe old age of 20. I was a certified dental assistant and immediately became hooked. I’m not sure what made me love it so; it could have been the smell of eugenol in the air, the fashionable scrubs I was able to wear, or the bright,...

Situational Awareness: Keeping the Operatories Busy and Everyone Happy

Most dental professionals, whether they are at the front desk, assistants, or dental hygienists, are intuitively aware that: “When the doctor is happy, everybody is happy.” What makes the doctor the happiest? When his/her (and the hygienists’) chairs are not sitting idle. Do you have a plan of action to help keep those chairs filled? Situational awareness helps. Situational Awareness Situational awareness...

Boosting Morale in the Workplace: Dental Teamwork Makes the Dream Work, Right?

It doesn't matter if you are a part-time or full-time hygienist. You are at your office or other dental health setting for majority of the day or week. Sometimes you are at work more than you are at home. Am I right? Employees working together collaboratively and giving 100% every day will guarantee success. Doesn't this sound great for everyone?...

10 (More) Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists

Although the dental hygiene profession can be rewarding at times, those little nuances called “pet peeves” can overshadow the day. After a positive response to my first article, 10 Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists (Plus 5 Patient Pet Peeves), I am following up with 10 additional pet peeves. The following is a list of pet peeves not yet explored on...

A Hygienist’s 10-year Anniversary: Discouraged to Delighted

To some, ten years seems like a lifetime. To others, it goes by in the blink of an eye. As I come upon my 10-year anniversary as a registered dental hygienist, I’ve found myself in deep, almost solemn reflection. What have I accomplished? Am I happy? Am I thankful for this career? What are my professional goals? It’s easy to...

Time Management: Making the Most of the Hygiene Appointment

Managing our time effectively in patient care is stressful, tiresome, and can often be out of our control. In 2018, Nayaka describes time management as planning available time in conjunction with personal goals while keeping individual likes, dislikes, and preferences in mind.1 She also states that good time management results in less stress, greater productivity, and improved efficiency. In hygiene...

Proper Periodontal Planning Prevents Poor Performance

On your first day at a new office, you are probably nervous, relieved, and hopeful − all in one. You are nervous about a new environment, relieved to be done with the job hunt (and to be paid!) and hopeful about the office situation and the future. Starting a new dental hygiene job can sometimes be like buying a new...

Incorporating the Five Love Languages into Dentistry

The Five Love Languages series by Gary Chapman offers insight into how our society expresses and receives love. This concept focuses on filling a “love tank” with acts of service, words of affirmation, giving/receiving of gifts, quality time, and physical touch. The actions could appear, for example, in our relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. How can the “Five...

Keep Dental Hygiene Salaries Healthy by Renegotiating PPO Contracts

Hygiene wages are often set to equal a third of hygiene production. This benchmark, cited frequently in the dental industry, is a yardstick for salary discussions. What happens when the practice contracts with a number of PPO plans that pay below average for hygiene services? Is it still fair to use a below average reimbursement model when determining fair...

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