If you are a dental hygienist, have you ever felt slightly unprepared at work? Has a patient ever posed a question that you didn’t quite know how to answer? Has a patient ever asked you about a product that you didn’t even know existed? Have you ever been in the operatory and wished that you had a specific instrument or product because it would have worked so well for the patient sitting in your chair?
I experience all these scenarios – frequently. That’s because in addition to my full-time job at MIS Implants’ oral health division, PeriZone™, as a PerioPatch® product specialist, my Saturdays are spent as a temp hygienist at different dental practices.
My temp assignments vary from general and periodontic to pediatric practices. Within each type of practice, there are varying availabilities of instruments to work with, products to utilize, and samples to distribute. Whenever I find myself lacking something, I always make it a point to make a suggestion to the doctor or office manager. Sometimes, they are unaware that the suggested product exists. Other times, they realize they simply ran out of it and make sure it is reordered.
An example of such an instance was just last week, when I was providing home care instructions for a patient with braces. He and his parents had not heard of proxy brushes, and when I looked for samples, they were all gone. I was able to pull up a photo of the product on the operatory computer, but I would have liked to do a demonstration while he was in my chair. When I finished with my patients for the day, I mentioned to the office manager that they were out of proxy brushes, and the assistants put them on their ordering list.
In any case, it was a simple suggestion that showed my concern for the office and my patients.
Preparation and staying well informed are keys to success in all careers, especially in the dental field. In addition, it is our responsibility to heighten and maintain the standard of dental care for our patients. This means preparing ourselves with the knowledge and providing the office with the tools (i.e., equipment and products) to deliver optimal care.
Be proactive and equip yourself and your office in advance, and you’ll find that you and your patients will be much happier.
Denise Nueva, RDH PeriZone Product Specialist MIS Implants Technologies, Inc.