Hygiene Production: Not Just Today’s Numbers
The Hygiene Department is busy. Regardless of whether you schedule 50 minutes or one hour for an appointment, much more than “just a cleaning” must take place for a practice to stay viable. Ideally there are numerous tasks that should be addressed. Here are the basics:
A Caries Risk Assessment is a newer addition to an effective recall appointment. The descriptions, format, and forms can be obtained through the ADA. If the actual ADA form is used, and the interview process is adhered to, this can take at least five minutes. Many offices like the idea of a Risk Assessment, but balk at some of the questions listed on the assessment form. For example, there is a question about Drug/Alcohol Abuse and another for Eating Disorder. If a discussion is going to be pursued on these topics, quite a bit of time, much more than five minutes, must be allotted and a very tactful demeanor utilized. If the hygienist is instructed to simply “observe all teeth for possible decay” this might be accomplished during the scaling and polish, but is not an actual Risk Assessment. Take a look at the ADA form online to see what should be noted.
A Periodontal Assessment is essential. This should include six pocket/sulcus depths, plus bleeding mobility, furcations and recession. If accomplished by the hygienist alone, 5 -10 minutes. If accomplished with an assistant or electronic recording device, 5 minutes. Then, the prophy at 20 to 30 minutes, followed by the dentist’s evaluation at 10 minutes (if the dentist is available to come for the exam right away).
With enough time, and the encouragement of the dentist, a hygienist can greatly increase office production by noticing and mentioning necessary patient treatment. Hygiene production for this hygienist might include the generation of future revenue by patients’ acceptance of treatment suggestions. In this example, $1500 + 3500 + 1750 = $6750.
While many practices have a schedule they are happy with that works well for them, some may be interested in ways to generate more treatment coming from the hygiene department. The addition of a little more time can sometimes offer a nice pay-off. Hygiene production can be thought of as more than just today’s numbers.
Carol Tekavec RDH is the Director of Hygiene for McKenzie Management. Carol can improve your hygiene department in just one day of training “in your office.” Interested in knowing more about how to improve your hygiene department? Email email@example.com.
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