Three Roles of the Modern Hygienist

Hygiene Profitability, Productive Practice Mindset

Trying to compete on price and succeed? You won’t, it’s impossible. There is always someone willing to go lower. I think it’s crazy to try and compete on price. I think the overwhelming evidence suggests those who win compete on service.

So, to realize potential in hygiene, we must be sure that we are maximizing all three roles of a modern day dental hygienist:

1.) Preventive Therapist (This generally gets the most attention)

Dental hygienists have a significant responsibility to focus on the prevention of disease. We are the only health professional who is given the primary role of prevention. The truth is, many patients today are considered high-risk by the ADA. Those who struggle with chronic decay have a very high level of frustration. They do not want cavities, they are tired of always having problems with their teeth and they are very interested in preventive options.

2.) Periodontal Therapist

Many hygiene experts focus heavily on periodontal therapy, as it is a critical component in the life of a dental hygienist. However, it is not uncommon to see a practice that is still treating periodontal infection today with the same strategies and technology that they were using 5 years ago. Sometimes even 10 years ago. This is truly alarming! Many things have changed. In dentistry today, we now have better tools, better science and better knowledge about what causes periodontal infection and we know how to drastically reduce it.

3.) Patient Treatment Advocate (The least used role and the one that will have the biggest impact on your patients and  your pocket)

Hygienists often underestimate what a critical role we have in helping our patients make choices about the dentistry they need. How many times have patients turned to the hygienist, or another clinical team member to ask, “Do I really need to have this done?‘ or ‘How long can I wait before I get this taken care of?‘ The reality is, patients do want the team’s opinion and recommendations when it comes to the choices they have about treatment.

You CAN compete on Service and win. The better the experience we provide to our patients the better our success will be.