{1 - 24} GreyGrey
{25 - 49} GreenGreen
{50 - 499} BlueBlue
{500 - 4999} OrangeOrange
{5000 - 24999} RedRed
{25000+} BlackBlack

Please confirm that you would like to report this for an admin to review.


Private practice

I’ve just graduated and i’m very nervous since you’re only given 45 min to an hr for each patient in private practice. How long should i be using the cavitron for? how long should i be hand scaling for afterwards? When should i call the DDS to do a recall exam? Like ten or 15 min before the appointment is over? I’m very nervous and overwhelmed.



Confirm that you would like to Remove Email Alerts for your question. You cant undo this and you will not be able to re-subscribe.


2 Answers

Congratulations on graduating from hygiene school! It does seem very overwhelming when you first graduate and you think about trying to condense what you used to do in several hours in school, to 45-60 minutes. It isn’t as bad as you are thinking it is going to be! As far as times for using the cavitron and hand scaling, it all just depends on how long it takes you to clean all the teeth with the amount of calculus the patient has. When you first start out, you will probably take a little longer until you get into your own rhythm. In my current office, I get an hour for adult cleanings. I will bring them back and ask about health changes and any tooth issues, do xrays (if needed), to an intra and extra oral cancer screening, and check all the teeth for any problems areas. Once I do that, I will do probe readings, then start using the cavitron. It depends on the amount of buildup as to how long it takes me to use the cavitron. After I finish with that, I go around with my scaler and get anything I didn’t get with the cavitron. Once I am done with all the scaling, it is typically about 30-40 minutes into the appointment and I will polish then floss and get the doctor after that. It varies from patient to patient as to how long it will take

You will get your own process and it will all work out! Just remember, you wouldn’t have made it through school and passed your boards if you weren’t capable of doing this! It does seem extremely overwhelming, but it isn’t as bad as you imagine!

When you interview for an office if you haven’t already, I would ask them how long they allow for their hygiene visits so you have an idea. If you get the job, you can always try to ask if it is possible that they give you a little more time for hygiene visits since you are a new grad. Not all offices will be able to accommodate that, but some may be able to! Good luck!

Confirm that you would like to select this answer as the "Best Answer" to your question. This will bring this answer to to top and be highlighted as "Best Answer". You can always change this if a better answer is given.


My appointments are similar to rhayesrdh, except for calling the Dr. I typically do this at the beginning of my appointment, after X-rays or if the patient has mentioned a concern to let them know I will need an exam. If I find anything during my exam or cleaning I let them know as soon as possible, it allows them more time to come in- as they have their own patients & don’t come in immediately. I cavitron anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on the case presented. Hand scaling is at least another 20 minutes (10 minutes per arch, for a light/localized moderate calculus prophy) for me. The quickest thing I do is taking BWX or a PANO.
Definitely ask how long the appointments are, including for SRP’s & child prophy’s, & when the Dr. likes to be called in. Good luck!

Confirm that you would like to select this answer as the "Best Answer" to your question. This will bring this answer to to top and be highlighted as "Best Answer". You can always change this if a better answer is given.


You must be Logged In to Answer this Question

Already a Member, Log In
Not a member yet? Sign Up