The Demands of the Job: 3 Health Challenges Dental Hygienists Face

Many people, including our patients, do not realize the demands of the dental hygiene profession, especially physically. I was not aware of the aches and pains before either. Even in school, I was more focused on completing the program. In dental hygiene school, we did not see half as many patients in comparison to the real world. Not all “aches...

Tattoos in the Dental Office

The world in which we inhabit has vastly evolved over the years. Practices that were once frowned upon or considered rude or unprofessional are now more widely accepted. Among those new modernized ways of life is the tattoo. Decades ago, it was a rarity that people inked their skin with colorful art much less proudly displayed it for the world...

Teamwork: Open Communication with Dentist Leads to Happier Dental Patients

Many individuals comprise a dental team in an office, and the professional relationship between the dental hygienist and the dentist – frequently, the employer – should be nurtured. Both dental professionals are pieces of the entire puzzle of a patient's care. It is crucial to understand what each piece does and recommends to patients, so there will be consistency...

What Other Hygienists Do: A Look at Care Behind Bars

When we first entered dental hygiene school, we were taught that as dental hygienists, we perform many different roles such as clinician, advocate, researcher, educator, and administrative/manager. Some of us work in different types of dental offices such as private practices, general, perio, and pedo to name a few, while others work in the public health sector. Some hygienists have...

Resigning: How to Quit in a Small Dental Practice

We are in a new decade, in case you haven’t heard, which by the way, is debatable as some say the decade begins in 2021. That would be helpful to alleviate all this pressure, wouldn’t it? The voice of reinvention is loud – Be bold! Move on! All this forward-thinking can be the catalyst to begin a new future,...

Workplace Conflict: Impact of Friction within Dental Teams

Pulse quickening, vision blurring, heart racing, head pounding, labored breathing… What is happening to me, and why can’t I stop it? I’m sweating now, and it feels like the world is caving in on me. Why are my hands shaking? I can’t work like this. I want to curl up into a ball and hide in the stock room...

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,...

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...

Time Management: Making the Most of the Hygiene Appointment

Managing our time effectively in patient care is stressful, tiresome, and can often be out of our control. In 2018, Nayaka describes time management as planning available time in conjunction with personal goals while keeping individual likes, dislikes, and preferences in mind.1 She also states that good time management results in less stress, greater productivity, and improved efficiency. In hygiene...

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....

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