Publisher’s Letter

Hygiene and its Importance to Your Group

Bill Neumann

We did not know it at the time – actually, we didn’t even know each other at the time – but my wife and I went to the same dentist as children. When we had our own children, we decided to go back to the dentist that we both used as kids. Like many patients with good oral hygiene, we spent most of the time with the hygienist, and therefore had the relationship with her vs. the dentist.

When our hygienist Janice retired, my family continued on as patients at the practice. Let’s just say Janice’s replacement was no Janice. The replacement hygienist did not create the same rapport with us, nor did she display the same gentle care that Janice did. We voiced our concern with the owner dentist who seemed indifferent to our concerns. After going to this dental practice for decades, we realized that the reason we went to the practice and drove the distance we did was because of Janice. We found our new Janice at another practice closer to home and have been happy with and loyal to the practice, not because of the relationship with the dentist, but because of our relationship with the hygienist.

In this issue of Efficiency, we review the importance of the hygienist in a group practice setting.  Marisa Dolce, national hygiene director at Great Expressions Dental Centers, focuses on educating the entire dental team, including the dentist, to support the role of the hygienist as it leads to “a positive atmosphere and patient confidence.” Marisa also talks about the organization wide standard of care and team mentality which hygienists need to adapt to if they are coming from a private practice setting.

Andrea Edelen, Director of Dental Hygiene and Clinical Support for Mortenson Dental Partners, addresses the importance of the relationship the hygienists have with their patients and how the dentist and hygienist need to be in sync with their messaging for better treatment acceptance, which will in turn result in better oral health. Through education and communication, good hygiene programs lead to thriving dental practices through restorative opportunities.

A.J Acierno DDS, CEO of DecisionOne Dental Partners again points to the trust that patients have in their hygienists. He also looks beyond the clinical aspects of the job and tells us that hygienists must be also be customer service focused, able to educate patients and prepare them for typical treatment options they can expect from a restorative or cosmetic standpoint.

Good reading,

Bill Neumann