Ways to Rely More on Hygienists and Assistants

October 3, 2018 Pankey Gram

Dentists can feel like they have to do everything and decide everything in the dental practice. After all those years of training, hard work, and practice, it’s no surprise we take the lead.

But even only five years into practicing, doing everything and always being the expert can get pretty exhausting. You may want to provide exceptional care, but you can’t be everywhere at once. That’s when it’s time to start taking on more of a mentorship role with your team members.

Leaning On Your Hygienists and Assistants

If you’ve developed a positive, collaborative practice culture, you’ll likely be surprised by how many of the people you employ jump at the opportunity to learn more and embrace more responsibilities. Some might seem hesitant, but likely this stems not from disinterest but from not wanting to disappoint or threaten their position by messing up.

You actually can’t and shouldn’t do it all. First and foremost, rely on your team to fill in some of the gaps of kindness/emotion/consideration that you may not be able to fill as easily if your schedule is packed. Even if you can’t hear about the patient’s life story, someone on the team should be making an effort to get to know them more personally.

Hygienists and assistants can be trained for many specialties you might not even be aware they are allowed to perform. They can handle impressions, facebows, photographs, sealants, whitening, and oral hygiene instructions and make lucia jigs, quicksplints, and provisionals.

That’s no small amount of tasks. Think of all the time you could save by entrusting more to team members who may already feel complacent in their work. You’ll end up fostering a more engaged working environment.

How do you lean on your dental assistants and hygienists? We’d love to know your tips and tricks!

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