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Assisted Hygiene

My office wants to switch to assisted hygiene, all I have ever heard is how awful it is! Anybody currently working in assisted hygiene that enjoy it?

What are your pros and cons?



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3 Answers

Personally, I prefer it. It is imperative that there be an assistant for hygiene that is solely for the hygienist. The schedule will not work if a “floater” assistant from the doc’s side “helps out” hygiene. I feel like I’ve got more time with the patients and have more energy at the end of the day with an assisted hygiene schedule that is implemented properly.

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I’m sure there are hygienists out there that might enjoy assisted hygiene, however I haven’t met any of them. Pro: the office makes more money. Con: you do double the work for the same amount of pay (if you are hourly), you don’t have enough time to build rapport with your patients, it not only wears you down physically, but mentally which could shorten your career, the list goes on. Again, you may like it but most do not. It’s only advantageous to the office’s bottom line, in my opinion.

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Thank you for touching on pay, Kara. I would recommend a commissioned based compensation. Either, straight commission (if you are not going to be required to do any other duties, e.g., sterilizing instruments, turning room etc.,) or a base pay plus commission if you will be expected to perform tasks that are not production. It is important that the hygienist fully train and utilize her/his assistant to their fullest potential. Let the assistant do as much as they are legally allowed to do and work together as a team, like the dentists do with their assistants.

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