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,...

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...

Proper Ergonomics: A Cautionary Tale

We all know that dental hygiene students face a multitude of pressures while in school. Hours upon hours of clinic and classes, focusing on perfecting instrumentation skills, worrying about finding the right board patient – the pressures are endless! There is no wonder that focusing on ergonomics may fall by the wayside, especially when you are trying to accomplish...

6 Surefire Ways to Get a Raise… But Only if You Deserve It!

Raise… the dreaded “R-Word.” Dental hygienists hate to have to ask for it. Dentists hate to give it. Why is it that we think compensation will only need to be discussed at the time of hire?  Maybe because it is such an uncomfortable topic, we delude ourselves into believing the subject of pay will never again have to arise...

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...

12 Ways to Improve the Professionalism of Your Dental Office

I feel I need to begin this article with a vent. Allow me to share a recent experience to demonstrate how office behavior can be perceived from a patient’s point of view. I recently went to a doctor’s office for a yearly checkup. When I approached the desk to sign in, there was no one there to greet me....

Is Malpractice Liability Insurance Necessary for Dental Hygienists?

Malpractice is defined as “a dereliction of professional duty or failure to exercise an ordinary degree of professional skill or learning by one rendering professional services which results in injury, loss, or damage.” Dental malpractice is a deviation from the standard of care, failure to diagnose and/or treat a patient resulting in injury to them3. Dental hygienists are licensed professionals...

Increasing Productivity by Anesthetizing for Your Doctor Should Increase Your Paycheck

Anesthesia is the most feared part of a dental visit. Patients express their fear of the needle the instant they walk in the dental office, even if they are only there for routine prophylaxis. Daily, in private practice, I am asked if the patient “will be getting a shot today?” Sure we have been taught decreased fear strategies while...

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...

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