Dental Staff Bonus Programs: Review of 4 Incentive Plan Models

Has anyone ever participated in a bonus system in a dental office that did the exact opposite of motivating you? A bonus is extra income ‒ perhaps even unexpected ‒ you don't count on for your monthly personal budgeting. A bonus is typically designed to complement your base pay, reward you for reaching certain milestones or achievements, or as a...

Do Your Best: How Dental Hygienists Can Reclaim Their Purpose

The average dental hygienist has an allotted one-hour time slot for her or his patients. This time allotment often does not change whether the patient is in the operatory chair for a six-month prophy, periodontal maintenance, or periodontal therapy. Some dental hygienists actually have 40 to 45 minutes of allotted time per patient, making their workday impractical, inconvenient, and...

Wanted: Unicorn Dental Office. Dental Hygienists’ Dream or Reality?

Tingles race up and down my spine as my feather-light body levitates seemingly by its own volition, high into the cottony clouds. I feel so free, so giddy with joy, and I giggle into the sky as I ride the azure expanse. The heavens above me breathe a gentle breeze as they invite me higher to the majestic space...

How the Dental Hygiene Profession has Changed During My 22 Year Career

As a 22-year seasoned clinician in the dental hygiene community, I have witnessed profound changes in dental practice and job opportunities and developed a strong rapport with dental patients and dental staff. My role as a dental hygienist has given me both dental knowledge and a personal understanding of patients' needs. Timeline 2000 ─ My career started at a general dental...

“Wanted: Rock Star Dental Hygienist!” Red Flag or Unicorn Office?

The crowd goes wild, and the chanting begins; the stadium hums with electric anticipation of the show of their lives about to take them to another world for a few hours of their hum-drum day-to-day. Smoke billows from the stage and vintage guitars can be heard tuning one last time before the lead singer heroically appears and belts out...

Dental Hygienists’ Prayers: Six Wishes Muttered during the Hectic Workday

Steady is a good word for describing the dental hygiene profession. If you are working in a clinic, most days may feel the same. A list of patients awaits you, requiring gingival or periodontal debridement either in the form of prophy, periodontal maintenance, scaling in the presence of inflammation, or non-surgical periodontal therapy/SRP. The instruments used each day are...

10 Tips for Improving Your Operatory to Make Your Life Easier

There are many needed materials and supplies involved in dental hygiene, and most of them lie within our operatories. You have oral hygiene/education instruction supplies, homecare products, sealant materials, set-ups, and other resources to name just a few. With having busy patient schedules all day, sometimes our drawers, countertops, and cabinets can become a disaster zone. Here are some...

Dental Patients Say the Craziest Things

As hygienists, we see all kinds of patients and hear many stories from them. We know their life stories and their families. We are people-oriented which is the thing I love the most about dental hygiene.  However, sometimes our patients say or do things that we aren’t expecting, and we have to come up with a quick, yet professional,...

How Clinical Calibration Helps Clarify Dental Treatments

Differences that exist among clinicians can be problematic within a dental office, including clinic workflow, systems, dental coding, and philosophies. A dental practice is rarely aware of this problem, and it’s even rarer to find an office that addresses these differences in its entirety. The bottom line is quite simple. What do we really feel is best for our patients?...

10 Tips for Dental Hygienists to Get through a Long Work Day

Let’s face it, clinical hygiene is hard on your body, your brain, and sometimes your psyche. A patient who has some limitations and is unable to lie back or turn in the direction we need them to for proper ergonomics causes dental hygienists to bend, contort, and twist bodies in ways we should not just to accomplish our job. Dental...

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