Dental hygienist looking at patients teeth

5 Myths About Your Hygiene Department: What You Should Really Do With Your Hygienist

04/28/21 9:05 PM
Ryan Palevsky
Dental Advice, Dental Practice Management, Dental Team

If you believe the five myths below, you’ll be surprised at how much you can gain by finally banishing them. And then you’ll have more time and fewer headaches as a practice leader. If you think your hygienists:

  1. Cost money you can’t get back.
  2. Should work the phones during downtimes.
  3. Can’t patient educate like you can.
  4. Should work faster to make more money.
  5. Can never, ever pay for themselves.

You’re wrong. Here’s why… 

ASK YOURSELF: What can I do TODAY to bust these myths in my practice? What can’t I do? 

You can’t blame your circumstances anymore once you bust these myths, said Gary Kadi, CEO of NextLevel. And you certainly can’t blame the hygienist. 

  1. Too high of a cost, not enough profit: The hygiene department is not a drain and it’s not just a money pit. You can make it a practice profit engine by following simple steps. Get hygienists educating patients during 15 minutes of the whole hour visit. Use the NextLevel Healthy Mouth Baseline Tool to help.
  2. Don’t put them on the phones: Hygienists do not have to sell. They shouldn’t be on the phones. They can help you with case acceptance. 

In fact, Gary shared on a recent webinar, they can be set up to achieve case acceptance numbers that you would not believe. And once you start this journey, it’s a flywheel situation. You build this process and as Gary says, “The only way it doesn’t work is if you don’t do it.”

  1. Patient educators extraordinaire: The patient’s gums are bleeding. The hygienist starts a conversation about total health starting in the mouth. He educates the person in his chair about how bacteria and gum disease lead to heart disease and so many other conditions. By the time the doc comes in, case acceptance is a done deal. 

Did you know that ADA stats on case acceptance are at a measly 22% for the average dental practice? NextLevel’s process can push those numbers up into the 70th or 80th percentile. 

Docs don’t have to spend more time to get more profits—they just have to have total health hygienists. The hygienists have the relationships. They have the power to help patients change the way they see total mouth health.

  1. Rush them out: Hygienists should spend 45 minutes cleaning and 15 minutes educating, on average. Your adult value per patient could be at $1,300 with full case acceptance for the 4-5 most common issues.  That means $650 for each of the two hygiene visits per year. The hygiene department is now a profit center. 

To really supercharge this program, our coaches work with practice leaders to have an average of two hygienists for each dentist. That’s the revenue model that works the best once the system is implemented. 

  1. Profitable and personable hygienists make a difference in your practice. If you restructure your hygiene visits to include patient education, case acceptance numbers go up and you’re not adding hours and days to the time you as practice leaders have to be in the office. You can get your life back. 

Truth is, hygienists want to help their patients succeed and protect their health. You don’t have to go get sleep CEs or training on other modalities to reclaim your profits. You don’t have to mail a zillion postcards a month. You don’t have to have a smashing Facebook, Instagram or social media star power.  You can flip the script and make your hygiene department a profit generator through more effective, total health patient education and thus higher case acceptance.

Get Million Dollar Dentistry by NextLevel CEO Gary Kadi today. The step-by-step guide is in there—better yet, free yourself to practice dentistry and have Gary’s team coach your hygienists. NextLevel guarantees a pay-off. Schedule a consultation today.