The Connection Between Hygienists and Your Patients

Our current issue focuses on the important and evolving role of hygienists in a group practice setting. Laura Thill’s cover story compiles input from several highly successful DSOs — Great Expressions, Aspen and Heartland. Large and small groups need to realize the connection hygienists have with their patients.

Several years ago, the hygienist my family had been seeing for years retired. (Notice I said the hygienist we had been seeing, and not dentist or dental office.) Our connection to and relationship with the practice was via the hygienist. She was kind, cared about her work, answered our questions, gave us tips, and eased any fears our children had. She spent more time with us than the dentist. And it was quality time. We built a solid relationship with her. She knew us. She knew my wife’s father was ill. She knew our son loved math. She knew our daughter was afraid to sit alone in the chair. We knew about her life, too. We trusted her and looked forward to seeing her, even if it meant having our mouths poked and prodded. Our brief time with the dentist was a formality.

When our hygienist retired, another hygienist replaced her. When my wife expressed our negative feelings about the new hygienist, the doctor shrugged his shoulders as if we were there for him and the hygienist wasn’t important. Our relationship with the hygienist was our primary connection to the practice, as it is for many patients. We ended up changing offices because of the new hygienist, and not because of the dentist or the dental practice.

Looking forward to the future of dentistry, the role of the hygienist will only continue to expand. The patient connection will be closer and more important for the success of the office and the DSO. Our cover story, The Dental Hygienist, discusses the evolving and influential role of the hygienist.

Also in this issue, we have our DSO/Group spotlight. Our featured group practice is Dynamic Dental Partners. A Lifetime of Care talks about Dynamic Dental Partners’ growth strategy, as well as about their commitment to patient care. We spoke with Marvin Terrell, Dynamic Dental Partners’ President and COO. A 25-year industry veteran, Marvin discusses his and Dynamic Dental Partners’ commitment to diversity within the dental industry, and how the National Dental Association is assisting in driving this diversity.

Also in this issue please make sure you review our Gray Market piece with input from the Dental Trade Alliance and the Dental Industry Association of Canada, our infection control column presented to you by The Dental Advisor, and Dr. Bahri’s Lean Management column.

Happy Reading,
Bill Neumann
Publisher
EGP
wneumann@mdsi.org

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