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Doctor exams

I am just curious how the doctors preform their hygiene exams for your current or past offices. Do they come in before the cleaning? Do they check for calculus or do they just check for decay? How long does the exam typically take? The last question I have is how long do you typically wait for the doctor to come in?

At my current office, the doctor comes in after the cleaning is done unless they get a break in a long procedure, and they will come in early so we aren’t waiting for a long time when we are done. I work for 2 doctors, and one of them is usually pretty good about coming in soon after I let him know I’m ready. The other one is a little slower to come in (but he is very busy usually with being double booked at times), so I have to wait sometimes 10 minutes or so. When the doctors come in, they take the explorer around every tooth and are checking for decay and calculus. It is a somewhat regular thing for them to ask for a scaler to check an area to see if there is calculus left or if it is just anatomy or roughness. It was hard on me at first when I started working there because as a hygienist, we don’t like to think that we leave anything behind, but the reality is that we sometimes do. Now I am more appreciative of it because my doctors want to make sure that everything is perfectly clean before a patient leaves our office. My office is very focused on patient care and quality of work. I think this is a great thing, although it does lead to us being behind a good amount of the time. What are your thoughts on it and does anyone else work at an office like this or is your office completely opposite?

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1 Answer

Mostly I’ve had doctors come in at the end of the appointment. If they know they are going to be in the middle of a crown prep, RCT, or something, they will come in at a random time.
I’ve never personally had a doctor check for calculus. If the doctor was checking to ensure awesome patient care, I wouldn’t mind. However, if the doctor was doing it as a reason to find “something wrong with how I work” I wouldn’t be very happy! So I guess the situation matters here, in my opinion. I would think that a doctor would trust your training and work and wouldn’t need to do that. That’s always been the case in my experience.
Depending on the patient, exams normally take 5-10 minutes. Of course this varies, but that’s just a general time. In my experience, I only wait 5 minutes to 10 minutes max. The last office I was at prided itself for always seeing patients on time. This meant the doctor needed to be prompt, and he always was. Any longer of a wait and there’s a chance the patient will get up and walk out!

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