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Invest in your hygienist

April 19, 2016
Dental Economics' Chief Editor Chris Salierno, DDS, says, "It's hard to think of the perfect metaphor for our hygiene departments. Like a beating heart, they circulate patients into our schedules. Like a . . ." Whatever that perfect metaphor would be, if you're looking at 2015 and wondering how you can do better this year, your dental hygienist is definitely part of the solution. Let's give them some time off to go to the annual RDH Under One Roof conference.

Chris Salierno, DDS

It's hard to think of the perfect metaphor for our hygiene departments. Like a beating heart, they circulate patients into our schedules. Like a first date, they're a critical impression for patients. Like a canary in a coal mine, they can tell us when our practices are in serious trouble.

Whatever that perfect metaphor would be, let's agree that our goal is to have happy hygienists supported with solid systems. If you're looking at your tax return from 2015 and wondering how you can do better this year, your hygienist is most definitely part of the solution.

MORE READING |The $300,000 'hygenius'

So let's get them pumped up. Give them some time off to attend the annual RDH Under One Roof conference. In fact, show your appreciation and pay for them to go. It's a write-off for you and it will mean the world to them. Don't be cheap . . . we're talking about your practice's livelihood here.

Let's imagine a scenario. You walk into your hygiene room for a routine recall check. After the usual pleasantries, as you begin to glove up for the exam, the patient says, "So, Donna and I were talking before you came in, and I'd like to get your opinion about Invisalign. She said I may need some minor laser procedure on my gums to get me into better shape, but I hope you think I'm a candidate." Don't you love it when that happens?

You can have a lot more of those encounters by sending your hygienist to Under One Roof. Ben Miraglia, DDS, and Lauren Gueits, RDH, will give your hygienists more confidence recommending orthodontics to your patients to treat occlusal disease. Our regular columnist, Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, RDH, will show them that wearing loupes will help them diagnose more disease, thanks to her course with Designs for Vision. Your hygienists will have a more robust armamentarium for therapy, thanks to Angie Mott, RDH, and Jeanette Miranda, RDH, who are running a laser workshop sponsored by AMD. And those are just a sample of the courses offered on the first day.

So let's invest in the people who are so critically important to our success. Your practice will thank you for it.

MORE READING |3 steps to productive hygiene: Communication, assessment, partnership

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