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Detecting tx for Dr.?

I have worked for a bunch of different Drs. and it seems like every one is different on what they tx plan, or watch, or think needs no tx. But all of them seem to expect me to find all the needed tx and tell them what needs crown, rct, grafting and such. I feel like an idiot when I miss something they think needs tx and feel like they look at me like I’m an idiot when I miss even subtle things that another dr. wouldn’t even treat. I’m a newer hygienist though and was never taught any of this stuff in school. I guess my question is how did you help yourself get better at diagnosing and am I the only one that’s struggled learning this, adjusting to different doctors, reading X-rays, and felt stupid for not seeing what the doctor sees?



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2 Answers

You are not alone in this. It just takes time and experience to be able to point out “suspicious areas” to the doctor or adjust to how they like things done. Even the most seasoned hygienist can miss incipient decay (for example) as can a doctor – we are all human! Be patient with yourself and don’t feel like an idiot. Remember, they have different training than us especially regarding restorative needs, which is why we are hygienists and they are dentists and do the exams. I don’t think you should be expected to find every little thing because of this. I haven’t worked for a doctor that expects me to find every little thing as they have all wanted me to focus on the health of the periodontium, not do their job. That’s just my experience though. As long as you are actively learning everyday, which you probably are by the sounds of it, don’t feel stupid. Also, think of it this way, there are things you can point out regarding perio that I bet a doctor could miss! It just goes back to a different focus in training.

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@lilartrdh I have the same issue. Although I only work for one Dr. I have a hard time know what she wants me to already have tx planned outside of perio. I too am new to practicing and although we learned a lot on diagnosing radio graphically, IO I still struggle and feel that there is this fine line between expectation and what we are “legally” allowed to diagnose.

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