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Argument with dentist over new product and his callous nature

I had a question regarding what your office suggests to patients to clean removables?I got into an argument (probably wasn’t a smart idea) with a dentist in our practice about him suggesting to a patient to clean her invisalign in bleach.Its not really about WHAT he is suggesting (even though bleach is caveman technique to oral hygiene) but its about the randomness with which he suggests things. One time he will suggest bleach, next time vinegar, than denture tablets… While all those methods are terrible (Bleach and vinegar are tremendously acidic, and tablets only kill odor and have yellowed certain plastics), I feel like its illustrating his lack of interest in Dental Hygiene.So since the argument I did my research and found a good product that I feel comfortable with and that will help me sleep at night that our patients are being covered…. But HE STILL doesn’t consistently suggest the product (It is called Oap Cleaner).Do I get in a new argument? Or suck up my pride and RDH nature.Thanks!Emily



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5 Answers

This is a tough situation to be in. You want to make sure patients get the very best advice for homecare, but it sounds like the dentist has almost zero interest in doing the same. When dealing with people like this it is best not to keep arguing with them. The more he feels like you are questioning his abilities, the more hostile he will probably get towards you. That said, it isn’t right that he is so across the board on his recommendations. It just isn’t in the best interest of the patient.

It wasn’t mentioned specifically, but I get the feeling this dentist isn’t the owner of the practice. If he’s not, you might want to gracefully (not in an accusatory way!) bring this up to the most senior practicing dentist in your office. This is a fine line to walk because you don’t want to come off as just complaining.

I also agree with Sue on all her points; especially the part about patients being smart. If a patient sees that you know your stuff, they will be able to see through the lack of interest of the dentist. It sucks to not get the gratification of that, but patients know.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how important it is to not start a big argument with the dentist. However, if you find that that these arguments are happening more and more frequently, it might be best to put your feelers out for another job. Being aligned with the values of those you work with leads to much better job satisfaction.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!

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Good on you for being proactive about finding a solution for your patients. That shows you are a clinician that cares!
Sad thing is…not all clinicians do care, in my opinion, all you can do is be the hygienist you want to be and allow this doctor to be the clinician he is. Patients are smart, they can sense who cares. 🙂

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Im a newbie but still have experience with this dilemma. Had a similar situation and kept sticking up for what i believed in (HYGIENE lol) and ended up getting fired. It turned out for the best because I got a job in a different practice and the environment is so gentle and jovial I have rediscovered my love with dentistry again.

By the way where do you get the oap cleaner from? Is it just for invisalign or for ALL removables too? We have a similar dilemma (nothing effective to give patients).
Please provide details so I can look into it.

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Our office uses Kleenite.
However, I’m glad I saw this post about OAP. This sounds like the best product to use since OAP Kills 99.99% of Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi and Germs. I’ve known several denture wearers that have issues with Thrush and I am sure this will help.

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This is certainly a difficult situation. I would present the new product to the dentist. Discuss its advantages and hope he takes your suggestion/recommendation to heart.

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