{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.


What does your dentist want you to do?

Do they want you to diagnose conditions before they come in and do the exam?
Do they want you to leave notes about watch areas and cavities?
Discuss perio depths?
Blow air during the exam?
Make suggestions on treatments?

What else? I am a new hygienist temping in various offices? I am asked to do different things almost each office, so I’m wondering what the norm is.
I do try to have the light ready, and the mirror and explorer out and clean. X-rays up. Other than that I’m pretty clueless. It was drummed into us never diagnose at school, so it confuses me to be asked “did I see anything?”



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.


5 Answers

I always write down any ‘suspicious’ areas I detect during the prophy or that I see on x-rays. I inform Dr as to probings and any concerns there. I isolate mirror and explorer for exam. Hope this helps. It will definitely get easier with experience.

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.


I circle the tooth numbers that I have a “concern”. Then when the exam starts I tell them the concern and they check and tell me what and if anything needs to be done. The school teaches you to diagnose. You diagnose in a way that the dentist has the final say. If you think a tooth needs endo and crown then you can tell pt about possible options for the tooth and tell them that the doctor will let us know which option will be best. Sometimes you will see what they do not see and vice versa. Four eyes are better than two.

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.


I worked for a dentist that wanted me to control the light and chair for the patient. She also did not want me saying anything that I saw as suspicious. My current office the dentist moves the light for himself and the chair. I make sure to have the mirror and explorer out and clean for him. WIth him I also let him know if I found something “suspicious” in the mouth or on radiographs. He will also ask me if I have any concerns with the patients oral health. I also note from previous exams if there were any watches and then he will double check them. It all depends on the dentist you work for and I just roll with it 🙂

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.


Prior to my dentist coming in to the exam – I have already performed ‘my own’ exam. So what I do is take any radiographs, evaluate them. Next take intra-oral photos of ANY concerning area (also a facial and lingual image of anterior teeth to document how they looked pre-trauma in case DMD needs to fix a chip or missing tooth at some point). After I look around and mark anything suspicious, take IOC’s and evaluate radiographs – We utilize something called a ‘PASS’ note. It’s a mini-note following a template where I write out these findings/medical concerns and I go hand to the dentist to let her know that I am ready for the exam at any time. She will then review Rad’s in another room and then come in for the exam already knowing what to look for. Works well!

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.


It’s hard when you are temping because you never really know what a doctor will want since they are all different! My office I look At radiographs with patients And explain Any suspicious lesions to them at that time. When I get the doctor I suggest my diagnosis and see what they say. Mist of the time they agree w me. After working w the same dentist for awhile you will get to know how they diagnose and if they are conservative or liberal w treatment.

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