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Assisted Hygiene

My office is thinking of doing some assisted hygiene. What are the pros and cons of this and do you have any tips to make things flow well?



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9 Answers

My first office that i worked at after i graduated was similar to this. I had assistants who takes xray for me, clean up the room, and all I have to do is jump from room to room to do prophys or SRP. It seems ideal at first, but i feel that in the long run, I’m losing my skills to take xrays or do other things since I’m so dependent on the assistants to do everything besides cleaning. Also, the cons of it is that you don’t really have time to develop a relationship with the patient because you’re also in a hurry to jump to the next patient and start cleaning. I prefer to have time with my patients and work at my own pace. If you do accelerated hygiene, make sure you get paid more.

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I feel like it would take away from the relationship with the hygiene provider. Also I like taking my own X-rays etc. that way if I miss something it’s on me. Same with medical history.

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The pros are you don’t turn over your own rooms,radiographs,b/p,pulse are done. If the assistant is coronal polish certified the polish and floss can already be completed on some patients and you can spend most of your time examining and cleaning! The cons include less pt contact time and the scheduler will sometimes schedule the Pts to close together. There is not much room for walk ins and late or difficult patients can really set you back time wise. Having a great assistant and a system like determining who brings the pt back and walks them out, having goodie bags pre made the front desk should also notify Pts of their charges so time is not wasted finding out if this or that is covered.

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Do get paid less because now the office has to pay a floater basically? In my office we do not have assisted hygiene but on busy days we will have a floater. I prefer to be paid and work harder. I also prefer more time with my patients. I hate seeing too many patients a day. In my office i see on average 6 patients a dat.

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I have been a hygienist for 27 years worked in accelerated hygiene for 7 years. There are two hygienist in the office and we each have an assistant. They do take x-rays, clean up the rooms and set up, but they also establish a trusting relationship with the patient. They bring the patient back take x-rays, use the diagnodent. They get a preliminary picture of what might be needed take the steps to check insurance, talk with patient or parents then set up for what might happen. Sealants, debridement…It saves a lot of time for the hygienist. They will also discuss previously diagnosed treatment and check on pre-determinations. I don’t feel short changed with patients. Patients seem to like the attention and the information, no surprises. The key is to have a good working relationship with a knowledgeable assistant. There is a pay increase with this way of practicing. I wouldn’t like to go back to no assistant.

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There are always pros and cons. I know that for my practice we need it. We have 1 hour for new patients (med history, bp, fmx, full mouth charting and probing, prophy, ohi and dr check included) we have 45 minutes for an adult (mind you that we might take a full mouth and do full mouth perio charting depending if it’s been 2 years). Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to debride. A assistant would be great even if it was to disinfect and take my instruments to the ultrasonic! Wishful thinking.

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I have been doing assisted hygiene for about 15 years, my assistant and I work as a team. We work very efficiently together. our patients love the routine of seeing her first, she gets the appt rolling, new med history, updates, any concerns complaints, X-rays , that patient is ready when I walk in! I spend the whole appointment treating the patient , educating, and getting the patient ready for the DR…….it is wonderful!! Everyone knows what going on with that patient because we all have a part of the appointment.

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I love love love my Hygiene asst! I retain taking the x-rays, and the med update…but my asst does everything else, from cleaning to instrument sharpening…the patients love our flow, we work great together! We each have a terrific rapport with the patients… I’ve been practicing 21 years this month and this is the first time I’ve had one! Wish I knew the value earlier!!!

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There are definitely pros and cons. I have been practicing for 26 years and have been doing some assisted hygiene for about the last 5. My experience is it has been okay for part of the day, but is too taxing physically for the entire day. Don’t get me wrong, I love to work hard, but multiple days of assisted hygiene can be hard on the hands (even with using an ultrasonic).
There are some patients who like it and some who request to not be scheduled as such.
I also am not being financially compensated for this.
I think it depends upon the practice, the hygienist and how it is scheduled. If you have amazing assistants as my office does, it can work.

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