Why your entire practice should know how to increase dental hygiene production
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the patient’s subjective experience of dental treatment is the most important channel for his or her later behavior. Each member of the team, from the receptionist to the hygienist to the doctor, can positively influence existing customers, acquire new ones, and improve the overall dental experience to build rapport and boost profits.
The primary role of the hygienist is scaling and root planing, but it is equally important that they know how to increase dental hygiene production.
Dental hygiene is a preventative, profitable direction for your office, and it is valuable for the patients. Capitalize on the time the hygienist has with your patients to improve output and earn more revenue per chair.
In addition to the routine patient examination, which includes a periodontal, cosmetic, implant, occlusal and tooth exam, the dental hygiene production department is responsible for preventive services, cleanings, periodontal procedures, radiographs (X-rays), and administering protective sealants.
A hygiene appointment is a perfect time to educate patients, build rapport, suggest appropriate oral health treatments, products, and options for recommended care.
The following demonstrates how to increase dental hygiene production through advisory discussions with the patient.
- Establish a treatment plan.
- Promote comprehensive dentistry.
- Recommend esthetic procedures.
- Discuss implants.
- Propose nonsurgical periodontal therapy (NSPT).
- Suggest quadrant scaling.
- Offer antimicrobial therapy.
Patients feel more comfortable purchasing products recommended by their dentist – this lends credibility. Consider bite-splints (TMJ), sports guards, snore appliances, and other products as ways to increase dental hygiene production. According to Deborah Dopson-Hartley, RDH in Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, the hygiene department should be responsible for “generating revenues and referral opportunities, dental sales, patient retention, and practice growth.”
The hygiene department should be an asset. Other dentists show how to increase dental hygiene production and boost profits by:
Establishing daily goals. Set a target figure for revenue generation. Know how long a procedure should take. Acquire positive testimonials weekly from satisfied patients.
Building trust with customers and securing repeat visits. The Journal of Dental Hygiene emphasizes the idea that “Dental hygienists practice patient-centered, empathetic communication, and in doing so, create a trusting relationship.”
Defining risks and benefits of preventive and aesthetic dental treatments. Promote oral health and establish the value of your practice and services.
Ensuring everyone is on the same page. If any members of your staff are not aware of the expectations of the practice, then they are not only jeopardizing their careers but are harming your practice and doing a disservice to your patients as well.
Reducing cancellations, which are a loss leader. Establish a fee system to dissuade hasty cancellations. Be understanding and flexible rescheduling – the goal is to get the customer to come in. If finances are a concern, be prepared to offer payment options or alternatives.
Tracking results. Meet as a team monthly, educate employees, and have incentives to reward high performance. Celebrate your successes.
Discover how to increase dental hygiene production right away with these quick fixes:
Sign up for Simple Practice to streamline processes and generate better customer service and efficiency.
Set expectations with your staff by creating inter-office checklists, including easy-to-use references at chairside from the American Dental Hygiene Association.
Adjust the language you use when communicating with patients. Change your vocabulary from passive wording such as “Do you want to set up your next appointment?” to active language that stresses compliance, emphasizes good oral health, inspires repeat visits, and nurtures a positive dental attitude. Make a list of phrases that are compelling and share them with your staff.
How to increase dental hygiene production in the long term:
Educate staff through online tutorials, with onboarding guidelines, and through feedback and performance reviews.
Establish an acquisition program to reach new customers in the community, online, and through networking and events.
Track results and meet with your staff monthly to discuss them. Document progress and profits against goals. Have incentives like bonuses and commissions.
Dentistry is a service, but it’s also a business. A successful business must be profitable. Train your staff on how to increase dental hygiene production, set expectations, be efficient, track results, and embrace a healthier revenue stream and healthier clients.
How do you know if a customer is satisfied with your practice? Comment below.