Ethical Dilemma: Trying to Encourage Patient to Seek a Second Opinion

Recently, I was in a situation where I thought I needed to be more of an advocate for the patient than agree with the dentist’s treatment plan. This situation tugged at my heart, and I didn’t know how to encourage a second opinion professionally. The 69-year-old patient left the office thinking she needed five crowns. They were diagnosed a year...

10 Things to Do during Cancelled Dental Hygiene Appointments

We all have those no-show patients, canceled or broken appointments, or a hole in our schedule. One issue seen in the clinical setting is the dilemma of clocking in and out if patients cancel. In my opinion, you are at work, and it is not your fault you do not have a patient. But this is not a perfect world,...

DENTISTS: Why You Should Give Your Hygienist 60 Minute Appointments

I’ve been practicing for seven years now as a dental hygienist as well as many years prior as an assistant. I’ve seen all types of scheduling − 30 minutes with a hygiene assistant, 40 minutes with the “you must see 10 patients a day” doctor, and 60 minutes with the doctor who understands our value. Consultants have stated this time...

3 Simple Steps for Revitalizing a Dental Hygiene Career

Are you starting to doubt your dental hygiene career? How many times have you found yourself going back and forth asking, "Is this the right career for me?" Do you struggle with finding fulfillment from your job because you're so exhausted? We commit to the dental hygiene profession because we love what we do. We love being educators. We love...

Are You Acting Like a Prima Donna Hygienist?

We’ve all worked with that person who acts as if they know everything. They speak in a condescending tone and are convinced they are 100% correct at all times. We all know that disgusted, irritated feeling we get when encountering these types of people. But have you stepped back and asked yourself whether you’ve been acting like that? It’s always...

A Tough Day Transformed: A Special Patient Turns Hygienist’s Day Around

Today was a tough day. We’ve all had challenging days – especially lately. First, there was Joseph. He hadn’t been in for 18 months between working in Mumbai and the current pandemic of COVID-19. Joseph has been using a manual toothbrush and floss picks daily. He has also been under a great deal of stress having come back to town...

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...

How Hygienists can Bridge Cultural Differences during Appointments

As dental hygienists, we have been taught cultural competence, and respect for diversity on a multitude of levels are important core values to being a competent dental hygienist. Cultural competence means that we are aware of and understand the differences and similarities that exist between different racial and ethnic groups, and we not judgmental about the differences. An awareness of...

Huddle Up: Suggestions for Staff Meetings in Busy Dental Offices

As a seasoned hygienist of working in multiple practices, I have developed an appreciation for the unique differences between them. Some practices hold a morning huddle every day before they grab their first patients of the day. Others have a monthly meeting or may not have any huddles or meetings at all (maybe only when necessary). A morning huddle is...

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...

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