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Over treating?

I feel like the dentist I work for is over treating srp. He doesn’t do a lot of treatment and I feel like he pressures the hygienist to treat plan srp to help with production. I have had to see patients that I don’t feel need srp. For example, a patient had a 5 mm pocket. Srp was treatment planned, the pt comes in the following week for srp but now that 5 mm pocket has reduced to 4 mm because the pt started flossing!

I am just not sure what to do. Talk to the dentist? Look for a new job?



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3 Answers

If you are over treating pts by performing SRP’s on them when they don’t need them, you are at fault as well. It’s also your license on the line because your name is going in the pts chart since you are the one that performed the tx. Only perform SRP on a pt with perio disease! Healthy mouths get the prophies!

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Having a sit down with the dentist to get on the same page regarding perio protocol might be a good idea. However, from personal experience, the doctor may not change. It’s worth a try though.
 
Dentistry is a business, but it’s the business of caring for patients. So when the office’s bottom line (money) is the doctor’s top priority over patient care and you don’t share the same standard in patient care, it may be time to move on. All offices have their quirks but patient care standard is one that you should all agree on. Ultimately, you need to work in an office that shares your patient care standard.

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I was in an office where SRP was recommended by the dentist when it wasn’t needed. The dentist I worked for would recommend SRP for a patient that hadn’t had a cleaning for 3 years or more regardless of their perio pockets. Of course, insurance wouldn’t always pay due to lack of pocket depths at times, and he would just tell the patient it was needed and they needed to pay the out of pocket.

I tried to sit down and talk to the dentist about a perio protocol, and it didn’t go the best. He didn’t really listen to me, and he continued doing the same thing. It puts you in a bad position as a hygienist when patients are asking questions as to why this treatment is recommended.

Ultimately, I left that office because it went against all the ethics I was taught in school and my personal ethics and morals when it comes to hygiene. I am in an office now and we are completely in sync with how we feel about patient care.

The best advise I can give is, if you can stick it out long enough to find a new job, I would do that. But I would definitely start sending resumes if you and the dentist aren’t on the same page with perio because perio is something you have to deal with on a daily basis and you don’t want to be stressing about over treating patients and potentially making them pay much more out of pocket costs.

Best of luck!

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