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Replacing a hygienist of 18 years

I am the new hygienist at a perio office and I feel it’s really big shoes to fill. Luckily the dentist and staff are very supportive and tell me not to worry about it but naturally I do. How did you deal with this?



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Author Note:
Oh and I might add that I'm a new graduate :/

4 Answers

I recently replaced a hygienist of 10 years. The fact that the dentist told me I was chosen over 100 applicants makes me worry sometimes even though I’ve been a hygienist since 2008. “Don’t take it personally” is the best advice. People have all sorts of preferences and even if you do a good job, there will always be some to criticize. For example, I’m a gentle hygienist and while most of my patients appreciate this, I get a few patients (usually 50+ age) who complain that I’m didn’t “scrape hard enough.” The most important thing is that your dentist and staff are very supportive!

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Just be yourself & do your best. Don’t take it personally when patients ask to see previous hygienist. In my experience after you have done a good job & started a rapport they will like you too!

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Do your best, give it time…they will accept and love you. 🙂

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People are resistant to change no matter what the change is. Be confident in your skills and yourself. Be good to your patients and they will be good to you. This takes time. It’s hard “filling someone else’s shoes” but remember you are a trained professional and are great! Being a newer, “younger” hygienist comes with it’s own struggles; this is normal (unfortunately). In my experience, people criticize out of nervousness. Patients still ask me if I’m even “old enough to do this job.” Uhhhmmm, I’m 35…. Be thankful you work with a supportive team! To deal with this, be the best you can be and show your confidence!

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