The Fastest and Easiest way To Get Superstar Hygienists

I get asked a lot: “How do we find and hire high performing hygienist?”


Really, the fastest and easiest way to get high performing team members is to develop them.


One of the most critical elements in developing high performing hygienist is compensation.


This is often the reason why hygienists don’t achieve high levels of productivity consistently.


We haven’t made it worthwhile for them to do so.


Most practices use one of the two following compensation models for hygienist.


The first and most common one is hourly pay, but our experience has shown that hourly pay can breed laziness in many employees, especially producers.


The second type of compensation is commission based, but many hygiene providers are wary of production-based compensation because there are some things outside their control such as scheduling or collections.


However, there is a third compensation model that creates a win-win for everyone because it


Creates a security net for hygienist so they don’t panic

  • Gives upside leverage for the practice because hygienist are incentivized to perform

  • Increases hygiene retention for the practice 

It's human nature to work harder when there is more reward.

In the video above, I go over the 2 primary models most practices use to pay their hygienist and the pros and cons of each.

I also share a 3rd, little known model, that literally has no cons and both practice owners and hygienist benefit.


Hourly Pay Model


  • Traditional 
  • Hygienst like it
  • It's easy to calculate


  • No motivations to do more

Percentage of Gross or Net Production or Collections


  • Most motivational
  • Easy to calculate
  • Reduces risk on practice

If your alrady doing this don't change


  • Puts greater risk on the hygienist
  • Most hygienist don't like it
  • Makes it hard to attract new hygienist
  • No leverage on hygiene growth.  For example if production goes up 20% hygiene salaries go up 20%. In the hybrid model. Compensation is all tied to the growth.

Most hygienist have a desire for certantity and this model looks to risky. If you change from hourly to percentage based you will most likely have hygienist leave.

Hybrid Model


  • It's easy to move to
  • Balances risk
  • It gives upside leverage to the practice
  • Gives downside protection to the hygienist
  • Increases hygienist retention


Literally, there are no cons when we've implemented this into our own and member's practices.

We've seen hygienist earning more and more motivated. 

We've seen dental practices earning more and retaining their hygienist longer.

It's really the best of both worlds.