One of the hottest topics in the dental industry is “How to Build a Successful Hygiene Program”. Vice President Barbara Maddy talks directly to the hygiene department about the growth the doctor hopes for from their hygiene department.
Hygiene can grow a practice in two ways:
- Treating Periodontal disease
- Offering Restorative treatment
Question for all of you Hygienists out there. Are you treating periodontal disease that you see? Are you doing bloody prohies? At the end off our day is your neck and back hurting. If so are you doing more effort for a patient and coding it as a ‘healthy prophy’ when really it’s not healthy. Or not treating it because the insurance doesn’t cover it. Ask yourself, are either of those a benefit to the patient?
What if instead, we sit the patient up and say “I can’t do a healthy prophy for you today because you’re not healthy. Even though your insurance covers it 100%, you’re not healthy. But what I can do for you is….” and explain what you see and how you’ll treat it.
Are you willing to sit that patient up and explain to them what they have. Express to them your concern for them losing their teeth if this is not treated. Elevate value by explaining the severity of the situation in a way they may understand, cancer, erectile dysfunction, etc.
Be bold. Be honest. Treat the patient.
Offering Restorative treatment
(This does not mean diagnose.)
- How many patients that you see, that are adults (2nd molar is fully erupted, not an age) have wear on their teeth? 90,95%
- Now answer this, how many of your patients are offered a night guard? How willing are you to offer this solution to someone who is in their 20s to help them save not only their teeth but from them paying $$$$$ when they’re older.
- What about fluorides? 4. Why did we stop doing sealants after age 18,19,20? Is that groove on that tooth the same at 18 as it is at 30? Can we seal a groove so it’s a space we can clean?
- Are you using your intra-oral camera? You have 50-60min are you maximizing that time with your patient. While they’re laying down still, waiting for doctor to come in show them their mouth. Explain some areas of concern that the doctor may want to take a look at.
What are you doing in your hygiene chair during that time? Are you willing to turn that tv off and be the clinician that you are.
The question is, are you willing to have all of these conversations out side of insurance?