How I Beat the Dental Blues by Remembering Why I Started

As most typical teenagers, I toyed with many ideas throughout out my high school career. Initially, I wanted to do be an architect. After a brief job shadow with a local architect, I quickly realized the only thing appealing to me about that job was the electric eraser. Then I moved on to nursing around the same time my...

Dental Hygienists and the Business of Dentistry

As dental hygienists we see ourselves as clinicians, educators, patient advocates, sometimes we might even feel like therapists, but there is one aspect of our role in the operatory many of us shy away from, the business of dentistry. Yes, dentistry is a medical service, and it exists to provide valuable care to its patients, but it also exists...

Front Desk: Help Where It Makes Sense, Without Stepping on Toes

Have you ever quarreled with the front desk personnel? No, never! No one ever disagrees, right? Fortunately and unfortunately, I have been in the front desk’s shoes. For two years before beginning dental hygiene school, I was the office manager for a dental practice. Guess what? It’s HARD WORK. I ultimately decided that reception/office work was not for me....

Dental Hygienists, Downtime, and Scrubbing Toilets

For many dental hygienists, downtime in your clinical schedule is a bittersweet concept—too much of it and you risk a cut in hours, too little of it and you balance precariously on the edge of exhaustion. Between patients canceling at the last minute, the inevitable “forgotten” dental appointment, and the natural ebb and flow of slow and busy seasons,...

10 Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists (Plus 5 Patient Pet Peeves)

We all go through our days capping our frustrations from those unexpected little annoyances, aka pet peeves. A pet peeve is defined as “a minor annoyance that individuals identify as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find.” Whether you are driving in your car and someone pulls out in front of you, only to turn...

Use Your Voice, Dental Hygienists!

Let me ask you something: how many of you have ever felt like you do not have a voice in the workplace? We hygienists often have a negative reputation as the “divas” of the dental office. This reputation is not always undeserved. I know for certain I am guilty of just being a straight-up brat once in a while, and...

The Pregnant Dental Hygienist

Dental hygiene is dominated by women, and because of this, you are more than likely going to encounter an office pregnancy. This exciting time in your life may prompt a few questions such as, how can you stay comfortable before and after delivering a healthy baby? You may wonder if you will be able to keep up with the...

6 Things Hygienists Wished Their Doctor/Boss Knew

As dental hygienists, we respect the doctor we work for. After all, it is their practice, their business, and we work either under direct or indirect supervision of them. They are the boss. Because of this respect, some topics that are hard or just plain uncomfortable to bring up with them. We might also hold back because we don’t...

Should Dental Hygienists be Independent Contractors or Employees?

At the end of every year, dental hygiene groups and forums are blowing up with questions concerning the 1099 they received from a dentist they worked for at some point that year. Most of these questions are regarding dentists that hired the hygienist on a temporary basis. Many of the responses focus on the legality of being paid with...

Don’t Allow Envy of a Co-Worker Consume You

There’s a wide range of emotions that can come from being a dental hygienist. From dealing with co-workers, staying on schedule, the satisfaction of a patient improving their homecare, or the opposite – a patient not caring in the slightest about their health. However, there’s one emotion that can be hard to deal with because it continues to grow...

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