RDH eVillage readers are searching for answers. Can you help?

Aug. 31, 2007
Readers seek opinions about dental hygiene salaries and independent practice.

Dear RDH eVillage:

I have been a hygienist for 33 years, and I've noticed that overall, dentists think they pay their hygienists too much. I have been in my present office for four years, work three days a week, 8 1/2 hours a day, average nine patients a day, and average production of $1,100 per day. I am paid $26 dollars an hour, have gotten one raise in four years, get six days paid vacation days a year, two sick days pay per year, have a 401K through the office into which the doctor pays about $1,200 a year, have no health insurance, and my husband and I get our teeth cleaned for free. There is a mysterious bonus program that I cannot figure out because production is calculated along with expenses incurred in the office. I never can know if or when I will receive a bonus … it is not consistent. My bonuses last year were half as much as the year before, and the bonuses come according to the practice production. No matter how much I produce, if the doctor does not reach goal, we do not receive bonuses. My production has no bearing on my pay.

I love what I do and that is why I keep on. I look forward to reading what dentists have to say about this. I hope that some respond. Penny

Please e-mail your responses to [email protected].

RDH eVillage:

What states offer independent practice? Also, are we making any progress in eliminating having to retake the National Boards when an RDH moves to another state, and will we ever have an autonomous national stand? Thanks, Jolie, RDH

Please e-mail your responses to [email protected]