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,...

5 Patients That Drive Dental Hygienists Crazy

All dental hygienists can appreciate that sometimes there are those patients who can make clinical life a little more difficult. The following is a list of five patient types that can test our patience and some strategies to better manage the challenges they present. The Self-Proclaimed Expert We all know them, they have proudly consulted social media to brush up on...

How Do I Do All This in 60 Minutes?

The race of the clock, the fifth glare you've given your doctor in the last 10 minutes, the sweat dripping down your back, the panic rising, the need to strip off your lab coat and turn on your fan immediately, the pacing, the frantically trying to find and set up another op for your next patient. TIME MANAGEMENT -...

6 Things Hygienists Wish 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...

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...

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...

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...

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