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Are you a quiet hygienist or a talkative one?

I’m just curious to see how many hygienists actually talk non-dental related during the appointment. I usually do most the talking before/after scaling unless it’s related to homecare. I even had one patient tell me “thank you for not talking when your in my mouth, I really appreciated it.”



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10 Answers

Honestly depends from patient to patient. Some like to be talked to and some don’t. ive had some patients who love talking about life and then there’s patients who don’t want to talk at all. You just have to get a feel of each patient.

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I agree with Zaraa. It really depends on the pt. I’ve been in my current office for over 13 years and have seen many patients for that entire time. You get to know them and have more conversations with them.

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I am a quiet hygienist. Just like you, I have had people tell me they appreciate not being “talked at.” They also appreciate being seen on time and being dismissed on time because the appointment’s focus was on getting their teeth cleaned not with talk of the weather (patient’s words, not mine!). Before I start with medical history is when I catch up with my patient’s lives; then throughout the appointment, when I’m out of their mouth switching instruments or something, I will continue the conversation from before medical history. It’s a fine balance. Like the other comments said, it totally depends on the patient. I also have the TV on in the room so it’s never awkwardly silent.

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Sometimes I do a mirroring techniques with pts. I also was trained in the DISC Personalities: The DiSC model provides a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and to adapt their behaviors with others. This can be within a work team, a sales relationship.
I have patients that want to know about me personally and I know about them. I have pts that I know nothing personal about them. After years of seeing a pt over and over you will establish a friendly business relationship etc. I am very outgoing and usually can talk about anything my pt wants to discuss or not discuss.

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I am the administrator for my husband’s dental office, checking in patients, updating info and so on. We have had the same hygienists for many years and they are wonderful, however, one or two talk so much that they run behind schedule most of the time, with patients waiting to be seen. I love that we have a rapport with our family of patients but having said that, I truly wish the hygienists would keep their hands moving while talking with their patients. The front desk has to see and address the legitimate concerns of the patients in the waiting room and take the brunt of their frustration as they are kept waiting. Let’s face it, most people don’t want to be there and everyone is on a time schedule. I understand they have a relationship with many of our patients…just keep those hands moving while chatting it up. Show some consideration for the schedule, patients waiting, and the front desk. I may get some flack for this. I simply wish some thoughtful consideration be shown to the folks who arrive on time and expect to be seen on time. Find a balance.

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I too am a quiet hygienist. I too see patients on time and dismiss them on time. Only time I find myself talking a lot is when I’m discussing oral care/health issues. I feel some hygienists talk a lot because they are uncomfortable with their patients. I’ve never had that problem.

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Sometimes I do a mirroring techniques with pts. I also was trained in the DISC Personalities: The DiSC model provides a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and to adapt their behaviors with others. This can be within a work team, a sales relationship.
I have patients that want to know about me personally and I know about them. I have pts that I know nothing personal about them. After years of seeing a pt over and over you will establish a friendly business relationship etc. I am very outgoing and usually can talk about anything my pt wants to discuss or not discuss.

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I tend to be more talkative, but take cues from my patients. I am the type of patient that wants to know about the person treating me, especially if they are really in my “personal space”. But some folks don’t and thats ok.

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I’m pretty quiet, but I’ve been at the same practice for just over 10 years and with some of my pts I find myself talking about anything and everything. I always stay on time and I think my pts who don’t talk a whole lot appreciate that I’m not always trying to make awkward small talk! I’m not very good at small talk.

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I always try to feel out my patients before I decide whether or not to have a conversation. I’ll talk in the beginning and if they say few words the rest of the cleaning is quite.

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