My Summarized interview with Dr. Shelly Short, Consultant at Jameson Management Inc.
Q. What other types of business do you know of that other hygienists have started or offered?
A. Hygienists as treatment coordinators, which help patients understand benefits and consequences and thus accept treatment plans.
Other businesses: For more information about different business plans see the dental businesses page.
Q. What are some tactics that can be used to help patients accept treatment plans and products recommended to them?
A. The biggest motivator is understanding the consequences of inaction. A patient must own their problem and understand the condition in their mouth and their responsibilities in preventing conditions. They must have the knowledge of the disease process, and we must be able to individualize the tools and skills they need to treat the disease.
A. As professionals we must understand the Health Belief Model. For example help the patient understand how the product or service will benefit them.
Q. What are some of the most important things that the hygienist can do for the dentist, patients, and a practice in the clinical setting?
A. -Keep up to date with current techniques for periodontal debridment.
A.Use the ADA codes to charging correctly services.
A.Be a hygienist that is not just soft tissue focused; see the operative and elective aspects such as recommending veneers, gingival grafts etc.
A.We do not clean teeth, we teach patients how to clean teeth. We are preventive and education specialist. We identify disease, treat it through therapy or referral and help patients prevent disease.
Q. What things can I do to help my hygiene department be the best it can business wise?
A. Be a part of the entire dental team, support and understand the business office and be a team player not someone on an island or a pre-madona. When challenges arise look for opportunities to move forward.
A. Work smart not hard, have time/life after dentistry.
Q. What technology is helping dental hygienists give better care to their patients?
A. Health education is moving with technologies such as: the Florida Probe, Casey, the professor, the wand, digital radiography and intra-oral camera's.
Q. What are some ways that a hygienist can optimize time available and become clinically efficient?
A. Don't feel like you have to do “social talk,” because it can eat up a ton of time. Do talk about them but talk about their dental experiences and overall health. They will still feel that they are the center at your universe.
A. Have the dentist do the examinations at their convenience. If this doesn't happen everyone looses, the patient, the practice etc.
Q. What can I do to help my patients better understand the relationship of their oral health to their overall health?
A. Involve the patient in a positive fashion so they don't feel that they are being chastised. Don't just tell the patient, ask the patient. Examples: How do feel about this? Are you interested in this? What can we do to help you be successful? Am I explaining this so that it makes sense to you?
-Use educated motivation: we can't motivate people; we can only determine what motivates them and then speak to their motivator.
***A special thanks to Dr. Shelly Short for sharing her time and knowledge.