As a dental hygienist, you are the backbone of your dental team. Your role is crucial. Not only are you a hygienist, but you are also a periodontal therapist, an educator, and a patient advocate.
You have the power to truly make their experience remarkable — and this is an important component of a successful dental practice. Creating a positive experience not only benefits patients but the work environment and team members as well. When they are given compassionate and quality customer service, patients will want to keep coming back, will value their appointments, and will accept treatment plans when they are offered.
Your position is crucial in creating a positive experience for both your patients and your fellow team members.
Dentistry is an important field of healthcare — in fact, one’s dental health has a strong impact on their overall health. However, dental practices face many unique issues that other healthcare clinics do not. For instance:
- Dental health is an integral component of overall health, but often patients do not understand this. They do not value oral health because of their misconception that it is not important for their body’s well-being as a whole.
- The main dental diseases, such as cavities and gum disease, are silent and do not cause pain until the advanced stages. This gives patients a false feeling that there is nothing wrong and that they do not need treatment before the symptoms begin to show. Moreover, due to a lack of symptoms in the early stages, most patients wrongfully believe that dentistry is an elective treatment.
- Many patients have a negative perception of dental clinics based on their own prior negative experiences or their fear of discomfort and pain.
- Dentistry offers services that have limited coverage by dental insurance. The high cost of dental treatment makes dentistry even less desirable for patients to make an integral part of their lives.
- Patients have a harder time paying for things that they consider elective, especially when they are also fearful of potential discomfort or pain.