What Dentists Have to Say About Dental Hygiene Clinics (video)

What Dentists Have to Say About Dental Hygiene Clinics (video)Across the U.S., lawmakers are approving the licensing of independent dental practice hygienists in states where it appears that the public needs greater access to dental care.

But independent dental hygiene clinics are a controversial approach to dental care.

Dental hygienists may love the idea, but dentists just aren’t sold on the concept.

The Wealthy Dentist decided to conduct a survey to ask dentists if they’ve ever seen a successful, private, independent dental hygiene clinic.

One New York prosthodontist wrote, “Bad for the public, good for hygienists. How much are we willing to give up? We are health care providers — not just a good business model!”

To hear what other dentists had to say about dental hygiene clinics, Click on Play to watch the following short video –

What are your thoughts on dental hygiene clinics? Do you believe that they can be a success?

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

  • Liz-Ann Munro Lamarre

    Well, hello everyone, I actually do operate an independent dental hygiene clinic.

    You know: people come, the dental hygienist does the treatment plan, the treatment, the treatment evaluation, and then the dentist comes in for the last 5 minutes, shines a light in the mouth, asks if there was anything unusual, and that’s it. That’s the extent of most people’s ‘dental’ appointment when they are on a good maintenance program, and not in need of dental repair.

    So, I do all that, except for the last 5 minutes. Is it hugely profitable? Absolutely not. Yet. But it will be decent when the chair is fully booked, which is only a matter of time in this economic meltdown. As long as dental offices are perceived as expensive, people will continue to look for cost-effective alternatives. With the lower overhead of less high-tech gadgets and staff, the independent dental hygiene clinic may be able to bridge that gap.

    We’re not taking your clients, we’re not looking to extract wisdom teeth.
    Dental hygienists can lower barriers to access to dental care, get people out of pain, out of decay and stabilized until such time as they can manage to get to a dentist for more intensive dental repair.

    And yes, hygienists are often seriously hampered in their practice, regardless of their actual knowledge, experience and even training, by local dental regulations which restrict certain procedures, things we are totally able to do safely, timely and cost-effectively, to dentists. For now.

    But why? It is well-documented that large amounts of people are going without access to dental care, and that it coasts way more to do emergency treatment, especially if you include all the effects,and over time. Why not train and provide additional licensing those hygienists who have a desire to reach out and do more than just ‘cleaning’ in a dental office? The need is certainly there.
     
    We work in independent clinics where people come who don’t go to dentists.
    We go to places where dentists don’t go: remote native communities, residential care facilities. It’s not that we’re not able to diagnose, it’s that we are restricted from doing that through regulation in most, not all, areas.
    Just like you when you want to start doing Botox, what we need is the means by which we can prove our abilities and receive license endorsements so we can do what we are able to do: unsupervised LA, sealants, ART, simple removal of already loose teeth, basic chairside relines of dentures. That will help the population gain this improved oral health that we’re all after. And you all know how that affects overall health, so that’s a really good thing.

    And, for all you dentists, why the scorn, the aloofness, the fear? Think about it: the hygienist who is so motivated as to operate an independent dental hygiene clinic is an excellent business partner, a potential source of ongoing free referrals for the more extensive dental work we don’t do, and as such an opportunity to receive dentally educated clients who already understand their needs and your ability to fulfill them. Why not reach out and cooperate with an independent dental hygienist today?
    We will all be better for it!

    Liz-Ann Munro Lamarre,
    The Smile People, dental hygiene inc.
    Salmon Arm, BC

  • Cath

    Liz, thank you for taking the time to leave such an in-depth comment here at TWD.  We value your input very much -

    Cath

  • Orion

    Do you know of a successful independent dental hygiene clinic?
    Plenty independent dental hygiene clinics have survived for years in Ontario, Alberta and BC.  Canada.  Also in the UK dentists refer to independent dental hygiene clinics.
    When all these baby boomers retire and lose dental benefits, they will seek regular preventive care elsewhere.  Just more affordable.

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