The life of a dental hygienist is extremely busy, and we never want to cut corners. So here are some tricks that will allow you to provide the same high-quality level of care for your patients, and make your workday a little bit easier.
Work Smarter Instead Of Harder
Although hard work will always be appreciated in a dental office, it is important to understand where you can still work very effectively while not working as hard.
One of the best tips we can recommend is using air to check for calculus during your cleanings.
Although this may have been frowned on when you were going through your dental hygienist program, it proves to be very effective in making sure you are thorough during your cleaning. There is no reason that you should not use air in order to provide a more thorough cleaning, and a quicker one.
We have met some dental hygienists that claim it removes some of the skill and talent that is required to conduct a thorough cleaning, but we would have to wholeheartedly disagree. The main goal of cleaning is to provide the most effective and timely cleaning for a patient possible.
There’s no reason you should put yourself at a disadvantage for both you, and your patient when it comes to their cleaning. Be sure to use all of the tools available to you at your dental practice to ensure the effectiveness of your work.
Ask The Patient To Move
Odds are it’s going to be much easier to ask the patient to move their head then it is for you to have to completely move around them. This may feel like you are being slightly less accommodating than you would like to be, but the patient won’t mind due to you being the dental expert and doing whatever allows you to be able to perform the best you possibly can.
You may also find that you need to ask a patient to sit more still. This will typically arise from a patient feeling nervous or anxious about coming to the dentist. Some of the most common things a patient will do is trying to be overly talkative, or moving their legs in some fashion. Typically this is when a patient is bouncing one of their legs.
In cases like this it is important to recognize that they are anxious and work towards making them feel a little more comfortable. If you find that their motions are inhibiting your ability to work then you can advise them to please sit still so you can proceed.
Conduct Your Chart Audits In Advance
If you are regularly working at the same dental practice then this is very important and will save you tons of time. Conducting chart audits ahead of time will allow you to know exactly what you need to before the patient even comes in.
Of course you will have your standard information that you will know without looking at the chart such as the reason for them coming in. Typically this will be for their standard cleaning.
However, conducting these chart audits beforehand will let you know if there’s anything specific about this patient you need to know, as well as if everything for them is up-to-date such as when was the last time they got their x-rays done?
If it comes time for them to get additional x-rays then you would much rather know that before they come in. Otherwise, you’re going to appear disorganized.
Nothing appears more disorganized then when you bring your patient into your operatory only to have them come back out of it to do an x-ray because you just now opened up their chart.
Stay focused and stay ahead of as much as you can.
Be Transparent, And Specific
Like we have always said, people have anxiety when coming to the dentist due to a form of unknowing. Being transparent with a patient will help to eliminate some of this mystery. Transparency can be about anything as it relates to their dental visit. These may be ways that they can improve their gum health and things that might possibly happen if they don’t work towards improving their gum or oral hygiene.
You should also be specific when it comes to ways that they can improve. This can be through recommending certain toothbrushes, mouthwashes, toothpaste, or even treatments and procedures.
It is important to remember that you are the dental expert in the room. Patients are going to be looking to you for guidance and advice on how to better take care of their oral hygiene.