{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.

Frustrated hygienist

I’ve recently started at a new office covering for a maternity leave. The hygienist that is on leave has been the only hygienist working at this office for 7 years. I’ve noticed on almost every adult patient I take bitewings on there’s calculus spurs evident and upon detection with the explorer there is usually moderate sub in premolars and molars. The other day I saw a patient with decent oral hygiene and his last scaling appt was 6 months ago and he had huge spurs of calculus on the bitewings, when I bring it up to the dentist while he’s doing the exam he try’s to blame it on the patient telling them that they need to do more flossing at home or asking if there’s been a change in diet or meds…

If I had only seen it on a couple of patients it I wouldn’t have been a big deal, but it is almost every patient. I get behind at work everyday now because I’m trying to get all this sub calculus removed. I don’t know what to do it is stressing me out!!

Does the dentist actually not think the previous hygienist was missing all this calculus or is it that he doesn’t want to admit it?!

Is it possible for mod-heavy calc spurs to form after only 6-9 months since the patients last visit?


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.

1 Answer

It is possible for patients to build mod-heavy calculus in 6-9 months. Depending on local factors (pH of mouth, etc.) some patients’ plaque can harden into calculus within 24-48 hours of going undisturbed. After months of this, it can become quite heavy. So it’s a fine line of if its the patient’s homecare or the other hygienist being less than thorough. But like you said, its not just a couple patients but many, even ones with decent homecare. So this is a tough one because you don’t want to throw the other hygienist under the bus because you haven’t seen these patients multiple times to see if they are just what I call calculus builders.
If the doctor is aware of your concerns there’s not really much you can do but just keep trying to remove deposits on all of these patients. Make sure you chart what you see. Even though its stressful, if you run behind, so be it. Honestly, the more you run behind, the more the doctor may “get it.” Keep in the back of your mind that you are temping and its not like you are permanently working with someone who might be less than thorough (if that is the case). It’s not an ideal situation, but know that you are doing the best for the patients you are seeing and hopefully you can find comfort in that. If it is truly stressing you out too much you could choose to not finish your temping job. Like I said before, this is a tough one and I wish you the best of luck!

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



Like Kara RDH on Facebook!