Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to develop and promote your hygiene department. A post ‘Covid’ and ‘lock down’ world, sees the public more aware of their health and the need to prevent disease. We hear patients saying buzz words and phrases like ‘health and wellness’ and ‘whole body health’.
More of your clients are seeking access to hygienists
Because of this, there has been a huge rise in patients seeking hygiene services, as patients struggle to access dental care. People are finally seeing the need to be proactive to stop dental issues occurring in the first place and are recognising that dental disease can be preventable.
Finally, it has also allowed the industry to see the benefit of utilising hygienists and therapists to their full scope. A therapist can lighten the load for the dentist, by doing full exams and treatment within their scope, only referring to the dentist when a treatment falls out of scope and allowing the hygienist to focus on optimising health. Why not use your www.envisagedental.net waiting room TV service to promote your hygiene services?
Dental hygienists provide many of the critical services (like gingival and oral health exams, professional prophylaxis, cancer screening, x-rays, disease prevention and periodontal maintenance) that patients need for optimal dental health. In fact, most patients spend far more time with their hygienist than they do the dentist annually.
And the outlook for dental hygienists is good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the overall employment outlook for dental hygienists is going to increase by 6% between 2019- 2029 in the US. That makes it one of the faster-growing careers, and we are likely to mirror that in the UK, as there seems to be a mindset change for the public and the industry. The hygiene department is gaining the recognition it deserves and patients are realising the importance of seeing a hygienist regularly, as well as a dentist.
With all this in mind, you have to ask yourself, are you doing enough to promote your hygiene services? And is your hygiene department reaching its full potential? If your hygiene department isn’t bursting at the seams right now, then the chances are, you may not be.
In terms of referrals to the hygiene department, we should all be working to a model of ‘optimisation before restoration’, so all patients should move through the hygiene department before any work is carried out. Its a proactive way to achieve better treatment outcomes for our patients, as well as longevity of treatment, better aesthetics, avoidance of litigation and working in the patients’ best interest.
Aside from referrals to the hygiene department, since 2013 a dental hygienist can work via direct access, meaning that their services can be carried out without the need to see a dentist first. It’s this concept that should be promoted. Patients should understand that you have a hygienist available without the need for them to be referred or seeing a dentist first. It may seem simple to us, but often patients are guided only by what the dentist suggests. So having information in your waiting room, on the www.envisagedental.net waiting room TV giving them the option to book this appointment for themselves and highlighting what this appointment can do for them could be a great thing for department growth.
In our library at Envisage Dental TV , we have a number of videos for you to use in your waiting room to help guide your patients to book in with your hygiene department. By utilising waiting room TV, your patients can get the information they need to make good health choices, choose the clinician they see to further enhance their oral health status and subsequently help with practice growth.