In the March 6 issue of RDH eVillage, we asked for your data on how long it takes you to perform certain hygiene activities and functions. The survey is now closed, and I am reviewing the information. We had almost 650 dental hygienists respond to the 24 open-ended questionnaire. I am committed to getting you the results over the next few months.
- Part 1 of the results includes time averages for segments of an average dental hygiene visit. Click here.
- Part 2. This installment includes periodontal assessment, polishing, scaling, patient education, and restorative assessment. Director’s observation: the average appointment time is already at 76 minutes.
Periodontal Exam/ Assessment
Minimum: 1 to 4 minutes (PSR)
Maximum: 45 minutes
- “Full exam includes periodontal assessment, EO, IO, OCE: 30 to 45 minutes”
- “Six point probing. Note bleeding/recession/mobility/furcations. Done at every appointment, not just yearly.”
Minimum: 5 minutes
Maximum: 40 minutes (Director’s note: this survey asked for “guesstimate” of a “routine” prophy appointment, not periodontal maintenance or scaling/root planning. For those respondents who did include time increments for various non-surgical periodontal therapies, here’s a side note; this study noted ranges from 45 to 90 minutes per quadrant)
- “Client dependent, avg. 1 to 5 units, so 15 to 75 minutes”
- “3 to 5 minutes for children ages 3-8; 5 minutes for easy Class1; 10 to 15 for Class 2; and 30 plus for Class 3 and perio”
- “5 min per tooth”
Minimum: 0 (Director’s note: Many open ended-end comments indicated patient education is performed in conjunction with other hygiene services.)
Maximum: 15 minutes
- “Who has time for this anymore? I know, right? This seems to be the part that must be omitted because of already being 10 to 50 minutes BEHIND ALL DAY LONG.”
- “Often educating while I'm working because of time”
- “I discuss while doing other procedures.”
Minimum: 1 minute
Maximum: 15 minutes
Maximum: 20 minutes
- “This is part of all explanation of findings/diagnosis, maybe five minutes spent, if needed, only on restorative.”
- “included in doctor periodic exam”
- ‘incorporated into scaling”
- “I’m not sure what this means?”
The next issue’s summary will include use of intraoral camera, fluoride varnish/treatment (as needed), patient records/charting, blood pressure, and oral cancer screening.
Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, MSEC
Director, RDH eVillage