7 Strategies to Help Achieve Clinical Success in Dental HygieneIn the previous RDH eVillage FOCUS newsletter, my article entitled “7 Strategies to Help Achieve Goals in Dental Hygiene and Beyond” illustrated hindsight 20/20 advice which I wish I could tell my 16-year-old self prior to beginning my career in dental hygiene. These are helpful tips to provide a path toward expanding a career beyond clinical practice. However, many of us may have no desire to explore outside the clinical setting, which is completely commendable and admirable on many levels! Those who strive to perform their best clinically keep our profession strong and our patients fortunate.
6. Incorporate salivary diagnostics and CAMBRA into your practice. Take the guesswork out of understanding your patient’s true root cause for their conditions and treat according to their individual risk factors. You wouldn’t blindly start a course of antibiotics to treat strep throat without a throat culture, right? Use evidence-based science and research as a credible and ethical approach toward helping patients take better control of their oral and overall health.
7. Don’t limit your practice to teeth and gums. Are you asking patients if they snore? Are you screening for oral cancer? Do you screen for orthodontia, orofacial myology or TMJ needs? Are you asking what they would like their ideal smile to look like? Do you provide nutritional counseling? Do you ask about tobacco use? Do you provide a shade guide and compare their existing shade a brighter shade and see if they are interested in whitening?When you ask patients what is important to them and tailor your treatment plan with their end result in mind, it’s a win:win situation for everyone and patients will be more likely to return. Educate and involve your patients every step of the way. Remind your patients of any unscheduled treatment; failure to do so may risk your credibility (why was it a cavity 6 months ago and nothing mentioned about it today?) and risk your patient’s trust in you. By treating your patients according to their risk factors, your practice will grow considerably and your patients will benefit to have you as their comprehensive advocate.RELATED |Foundation of caries management remains unchanged ** Editors’ Note: For a CE course on CAMBRA, visit: http://www.rdhmag.com/etc/medialib/new-lib/rdh/site-images/volume-31/issue-10/1110RDH095-109.pdf.More by Dona Schulz:Step Next: anticipate, prepare, and accomplish your way to success (Part 1)