Hygiene Clinics: Without Dentists, Hygienists Have No Profit

In this survey, we asked dentists if they had ever seen a successful, private, independent dental hygiene clinic. Only 2% said they knew of a successful one.

But why is that? We found that 76% of dentists think it’s not a profitable business model, whereas 22% think hygiene practitioners’ hands are tied by state laws.

Dental hygiene clinics seem to fail, because dental hygienists need dentists and dental practices to be most profitable. At least, that’s what our dentist respondents seemed to think…

  • “Dental hygiene clinics are bad for the public, good for hygienists. How much more are we willing to give up? We are health care providers. not just a good business model!” (New York prosthodontist)
  • “Financially, I don’t see how it could pay for itself.” (California dentist)
  • “The whole concept is flawed. They cannot diagnose and read X-rays, and this will definitely lower the standard of care. It will also make it cost more since the doc will have to charge more to do dental exams.” (Connecticut dentist)
  • “Will they subcontract a DDS to come in to do exams at $200 an hour?”(Alaska dental office manager)
  • “A hygienist is an invaluable team member due to close and continuous communication, which is not able to happen in remote hygiene settings.” (California dentist)

Read more: Are Successful Dental Hygiene Clinics a Myth?


About Julie Frey

+Julie Frey is the Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com blog. She has dedicated her career to Internet marketing and communications, working side-by-side with dental marketing guru Jim Du Molin since 2006. She has a degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, has a passion for language and writing, and lives in San Francisco.

  • Tanya

    We hygienists spend a lot of time with the patient as opposed to the dentist and are intimately aware of potential limitations of proposed treatment plans and acceptance of treatment plans. Unfortunately, our skills and technical knowledge is often (but not always) undervalued by the supervising dentist. This has encouraged us to pursue independent clinics where we can work for ourselves and the patient and it is appreciated! (Canadian dental hygienist)

  • http://www.davidnelsondds.com Luanne

    Reply to the Canadian hygienist: Your skills and technical knowledge are not undervalued. Most “supervising dentists” pay a fair and good wage according to the income generated by the hygiene department in his/her office. Believe me, each and every patient is appreciated. I encourage you to open an independent clinic and report back at how profitable it is spending so much time with one patient. More or less time spent with a patient has nothing to do with level of care. It is the quality of that care that counts. (Alaska dental office manager)

  • Anne

    Hello Everyone. I am a Registered Dental Hygienist who has opened an independent dental hygiene clinic in Canada. It is a shame to hear the negative comments about independent dental hygiene clinics. I am very happy to say that our clinic is doing very well in our seventh week. We receive daily phone calls to schedule appointments and the feedback has been that most patients are concerned about the fee they are paying for their dental cleaning in a dental office. We are going through trying and difficult political and economical times and the general public is watching “its pennies”. It is gratifying to see that the public has faith in dental hygienists and actually know they are going to receive the same quality dental hygiene care whether it be in the dental office or in a dental hygiene clinic. We have a referring dentist that we are sending our clients to and at first we were concerned that it would be an inconvenience but our clients do not have any issues with driving over to his office to complete their care. We continuously tell our clients that it is very important that they maintain their scheduled visits with their dentist as he/she is an integral part of their oral health and is able to diagnose and treat them where necessary. It is unfortunate that dental hygienists do not generally receive the same support from the dental community!

  • robert davitt

    Whether or not a dental hygiene clinic can be a successful business model is none of a dentist’s business. The free market system will determine that, not a dentist. Most dentists are notoriously very poor business men/women.

    The question and ONLY question that should be asked is:
    Is it safe to the public for a dental hygienist to practice what he or she is already licensed to do? The answer is unequivocally yes, it is safe. A dental hygienist is highly trained in oral health prevention and is able to recognize disease in the oral cavity by using xrays and any other diagnostic instruments available. We do not require the supervision of a dentist either direct or indirect.

  • Noel Kelsch

    Are Dental Hygiene Clinics Doomed to Fail?
    http://www.pr.com/press-release/123879
    I am commenting on the doomed to fail post and article.
    Statement: Dentists’ expenses are increasing, leaving many dental practices struggling. About one in four practices have raised their dental fees due to the current economy, finds a dental management survey by The Wealthy Dentist.
    Noel: If you own a struggling dental practice you may want to contact an independent dental hygienist and offer to work with them. Not only are they giving patients the gift of access to care but as many dentists can tell you they are referring patients to the office of quality dentists for dental care. It saddens me that some are able to see the doors that this opens in access to care and the possibilities that this creates for dentist and hygienists working together and others are lost in the past system of delivery of care. The positive relationship of dentist and hygienist working together as health care professionals is the future of our professions.
    Guess what? You may be shocked but the reasons that hygienists have worked so hard to bring the practice of dental hygiene to a new level is not about Dentists or even hygienists! It is not about how much money, profitability, gate keeping or being in charge of the universe. It is about patient care. It is about the consumer’s health and access to care. Hygienists can and do go to patients and safely deliver services that improve patient health.
    This article is full of inaccuracies including untruths about the California dental practice act. Not one single independent practice hygienist was interviewed for this article. Why is it that you choose to focus on the disconnection from the dentist and hygienists rather that the co-operatives that are taking place that allow hygienists to be an advocate for the patient and to bring referrals to the dentist maximizing access to care and expanding the practice of the dentist? If you want some economic advice learn to work with an independent practice dental hygienist who can and do bring referrals to your practice.
    Statement: San Francisco, CA, January 18, 2009 –(PR.com)– Only 2% of dentists said they had ever seen a successful, private, independent dental hygiene clinic.
    Noel: If you have never seen a successful, private, independent dental hygiene clinic then you are not looking in the right place. First why would you be asking a dentist these questions? Perhaps they should approach the registered dental hygienists in alternative practice who are running very successful practices! There are 235 RDHAP’s in California and many of them have had successful practices for many years. Perhaps the dentists do not know about the independent practices because these hygienists often choose to work where others may not want to go. They focus on underserved populations.
    Statement: When asked why, 76% of dentists think it’s not a profitable business model, whereas 22% think hygiene practitioners’ hands are tied by state laws, found a poll by dental marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist.
    Noel: This is very interesting to me. As a successful RDHAP and business person I have not only developed a very profitable business model but, I am free from the debt that many have had in developing their practices. How did I do that? By following the state laws, providing services to those who could not come to me, working with a business manager and working hand in hand with dentists who understand the concept. My questions on the statistics you quote are: How did they come to this conclusion? What data was used? Is this an opinion piece? How many of these dentists have seen an independent practice hygienist or even reached out to them?
    Statement: Dentists are protective of their role as the gatekeepers of health care.
    Noel: This is not their role. It is no where in the dental practice act in any state. This is the role of the department of consumer affairs.
    We are health care providers. not just a good business model!” seethed a New York prosthodontist.
    Noel: Yes you are health care providers. So are we. Why are you seething? When you do this you lose the ability to learn something new. Just imagine working with an independent practice hygienist who has reached a patient and refers them to you for the next step. Many people do not receive care because they are unaware of possibilities such as veneers. IF you work hand in hand with a RHDAP you will be able to have someone for free that will spread your ability to change lives, health and smiles.
    Statement: “Bad for the public, good for hygienists.
    Noel: It is clear you did not ask the patient! I do not know one patient that would agree with this statement. From the free standing clinic to the hygienist that treats the patient bed side this innovative system allows access to care. These services are saving patients lives and allowing them comfort care they can get no place else. Seeing patients in the settings that I have seen them is not an easy task and often no dentist was willing to come to the setting. Hygienists are making a difference every day.

    Statement: How much are we willing to give up?
    Noel: Just what is the dentist giving up? The entire issue here is patient access to care. Does the patient desire access to care? Do they have the right to choose who gives that care? What does this have to do with the dentist? A patient has the right to choose who delivers care. A patient has the right to service and direct access to a registered dental hygienist. I read so many statements here that focus on money and control. I do not see anything that is about the patient and access to care. That really concerns me.
    I am so happy to say that I am not experiencing dentists that have the attitude that is reflected in the writing you are expressing. I work and refer to dentists that respect the role of the independent practice hygienist and appreciate the communication, insight and referrals that come from the relationship.
    Statement: “In California, only a licensed dentist can diagnose and treatment plan. So all hygiene would be by dentist prescription or referral,” How much more are we willing to give up?
    Noel: Please read the dental practice act. Your statement is not correct. In a public health setting a dental hygienist can see a patient without supervision. The California dental practice act states:
    Section 1763(a) provides that a RDH may provide, without supervision, educational services, oral health training programs, and oral health screenings. The RDH must refer any screened patient with possible oral abnormalities to a dentist. As stated above, section 1764(b) specifies that these services can be provided in any setting.
    In addition, Section 1763(c) provides that in any public health program created by federal, state or local law or administered by a federal, state, county, or local government entity, a RDH may also provide, again without supervision, dental hygiene preventive services in addition to oral screenings.
    Section 1763 does not provide a definition of “preventive services,” other than to state that they include, but are not limited to, the application of fluorides and pit and fissure sealants. However, it would seem that the term “preventive services” would include those duties that would fall within the broad scope of dental hygiene defined by Section 1760.5 (dental hygiene assessment and development of a dental hygiene care plan).
    In addition, it would appear that the allowable duties would also specifically include the preventive services listed in Section 1762(a) and (b), as follows:
    (a) Preventive and therapeutic interventions, including oral prophylaxis, scaling, and root planing; (Section 1762(a)) and,
    (b) Application of topical, therapeutic, and subgingival agents used for the control of caries and periodontal disease (Section 1762(b)).
    The practitioner must determine whether a procedure or service to be performed without supervision in the specified public health program (other than those specifically listed in Section 1762(a) and (b)) correctly meets the definition of a “preventive service” specified in Section 1763(c).
    Patients receiving the services of a RDH without the supervision or direction of a dentist as provided in Section 1763 would not need to meet the requirements of Section 1684.5 that he or she be a patient of record of a licensed dentist.
    Noel: Further an RDHAP can see a patient with an RX from a dentist or MD and is only to refer the patient within 18 months of the first visit. Many dentists have embraced this evolving relationship and have been able to work hand in hand with the hygienists. In doing so they have expanded their practices to serve the patients that need treatment beyond what the hygienist could deliver. Perhaps instead of putting this successful business down this is an opportunity for dentists to find someone who has a great referral base for them. Perhaps if you welcomed this legal profitable business into your community more patients could have access to care and you would have more business. It is also against the law to bar a dental hygienist access to a patient. This includes all settings such as skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities, etc. Patients have the right to choose who is going to deliver their care as long as it complies with the dental practice act.
    Statement: The biggest obstacle is money. “Financially, I don’t see how a hygienist clinic could pay for itself,” said a general dentist. “Instead of using our equipment and waiting room and parking lot, l think it’s a splendid idea for dental hygienists to rent their own space, buy their own chair, supplies and equipment, and then sign up for a few insurance companies and make a fraction of each dollar,” an Alaska dental office manager said sarcastically.
    Noel: Great question and suggestions! Just so you know we took your advice years ago and we are doing very well at it, thank-you. (not said sarcastically).
    Statement: Many worry the independent dental hygienist could compromise dental care. “The whole concept is flawed,” opined a Connecticut dentist. “They cannot diagnose and read X-rays, and this will definitely lower the standard of care. It will also make it cost more since the doc will have to charge more to do dental exams.” The fact is, dentists can charge more for their time than hygienists.
    Noel: You bring up great points. We do not want to diagnose. We identify and refer. We depend on the dentist to do their job after we do our job. It is a great system and meets the needs of all. When a hygienist is working in your office when you are not there they identify patients needs see what is needs and suspecious areas and appoint for an exam or evaluation with the dentist. Independent practice hygienists do the same thing. So what is the difference? As far as x ray, you better go back and have the state and national boards changed. We have the same education and testing in this area. We are required to read x-rays to obtain our license. Why would you have to charge more for dental exams? Are you going to change how you do them because we are not in the office with you? I am confused by this statement.
    Statement: “I don’t see how hygiene offices make sense,” said a Nevada dentist. “You need the possibility of a higher revenue procedure base, like if hygiene is set up as the front end to feed the dentist in the back. Could a dentist set up 10 hygiene salons with the purpose of referring patients to his office? That would be smart. Otherwise, it is dumb from both a practical as well as professional model.”
    Noel: Perhaps for you it does not make sense. This is not for every hygienist or every dentist. It is not for every patient either. It is for those who see the role of a hygienist beyond the walls of a dental practice and those who cannot come into the dental setting. It is for those who understand the level of education a hygienist receives. If you are able, please look beyond the traditional model. Bringing services to the public opens up access to care. Access to care opens referrals to the dentist for further care.
    Statement: Traditionally, dental hygienists have been a crucial part of every dental practice. “Within a health-centered practice, a dentist wants their practice to serve the entire oral needs of their patients,” said a California dentist. “A hygienist is an invaluable team member due to close and continuous communication, which is not able to happen in remote hygiene settings. Even in a traditional dental practice that sees hygiene as a means of patient circulation that keeps the work coming in, it is more effective to have the hygienist on premises.”
    Noel: We are not trying to change that structure. We are just expanding the scope of location to practice. It does not matter if the hygienist is on premises. Communication can happen where ever you are. With this logic you had better have the lab person, and all referring professionals move in.
    Statement:”Dentistry and hygiene go hand-in-hand,” said Jim Du Molin, dental patient marketing expert and founder of continuing dental education resource The Wealthy Dentist. “Trying to separate the two will only lead to higher costs and reduced care. The money’s just not there to support an independent hygiene practice.”
    Noel: Yes Dentistry and hygiene go hand in hand. Just as Nurses and Doctors go hand in hand. We have the same educational requirements as a nurse and clinical hours. Our scope of practice once limited us to the four walls of a dental office now we can reach out beyond those walls just as a nurse does. Clearly we have had different experiences in the area of money and success. How have you drawn these conclusions? Have you practiced as an independent hygienist or worked as one? My experience is the opposite of your statement. Dentists must see a vision beyond your doors. The independent hygienist is out there promoting oral care, delivering services in the scope of their practice and evaluating the need to have further care. They are then sending those patients back to the dentist for that care. At no cost to the dentist the hygienist is promoting the dental practice. The hygienist is going places you have never been. By embracing their practice people that dentists have never seen will be arriving at dentists door. If you are willing to work hand in hand with an independent practice hygienist this new model can be an asset to both you and your future patient.It is my hope that dentists will take the time to visit with independant practice hygienists and find out what they are doing to broaden access to care. As we work together it will make a difference to the patient and expand the practice of dental hygiene and dentistry as a whole.
    Du Molin invites readers to visit his blog at http://www.thewealthydentist.com/blog/654/dental-hygiene-clinics/ and comment on this survey.

  • Noel Kelsch

    Are Dental Hygiene Clinics Doomed to Fail?
    http://www.pr.com/press-release/123879
    I am commenting on the doomed to fail post and article.

    Statement: Dentists’ expenses are increasing, leaving many dental practices struggling. About one in four practices have raised their dental fees due to the current economy, finds a dental management survey by The Wealthy Dentist.

    Noel: If you own a struggling dental practice you may want to contact an independent dental hygienist and offer to work with them. Not only are they giving patients the gift of access to care but as many dentists can tell you they are referring patients to the office of quality dentists for dental care.

    Guess what? You may be shocked but the reasons that hygienists have worked so hard to bring the practice of dental hygiene to a new level is not about Dentists or even hygienists! It is not about how much money, profitability, gate keeping or being in charge of the universe. It is about patient care. It is about the consumer’s health and access to care. Hygienists can and do go to patients and safely deliver services that improve patient health.

    This article is so chalked full of inaccuracies including untruths about the California dental practice act. You should be ashamed of yourself for publishing it. Not one single independent practice hygienist was interviewed for this article. It is just opinions with no data. It is hilarious to me how you do have some statistics. They are the statistics of opinions. Why is it that you choose to focus on the disconnection from the dentist and hygienists rather that the co-operatives that are taking place that allow hygienists to be an advocate for the patient and to bring referrals to the dentist maximizing access to care and expanding the practice of the dentist? If you want some economic advice learn to work with an independent practice dental hygienist who can and does bring referrals to your practice.

    >Statement: San Francisco , CA , January 18, 2009 –(PR.com)– Only 2% of dentists said they had ever seen a >successful, private, independent dental hygiene clinic.

    Noel: Then they are not looking in the right place. Where are they looking? First why would you be asking a dentist these questions? Perhaps they should approach the registered dental hygienists in alternative practice who are running very successful practices! There are 235 RDHAP’s in California and many of them have had successful practices for many years. Perhaps they do not know about their practices because they choose to work where others may not want to go. They focus on underserved populations.

    >Statement: When asked why, 76% of dentists think it’s not >a profitable business model, whereas 22% think hygiene >practitioners’ hands are tied by state laws, found a poll >by dental marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist.

    Noel: This is very interesting to me. As a successful RDHAP and business person I have not only developed a very profitable business model but, I am free from the debt that many have had to incure developing their practices. How did I do that? By following the state laws, providing services to those who could not come to me, working with a business manager and working hand in hand with dentists who understand the concept. My question to you is: How did they come to this conclusion? What data was used? Is this an opinion piece? How many of these dentists have seen an independent practice hygienist or even reached out to them?

    >Statement: Dentists are protective of their role as the >gatekeepers of health care.

    Noel: This is not their role. It is no where in the dental practice act in any state. This is the role of the department of consumer affairs.

    >We are health care providers. not just a good business >model!” seethed a New York prosthodontist.

    Noel: Yes you are health care providers. So are we. Why are you seething? When you do this you lose the ability to learn something new. Just imagine working with an independent practice hygienist who has reached a patient and refers them to you for the next step. Many people do not receive care because they are unaware of possibilities such as veneers. IF you work hand in hand with a RHDAP you will be able to have someone for free that will spread your ability to change lives with a smile.

    >Statement: “Bad for the public, good for hygienists.

    Noel: It is clear you did not ask the patient! I do not know one patient that would agree with this statement. From the free standing clinic to the hygienist that treats the patient bed side this innovative system allows access to care. These services are saving patients lives and allowing them comfort care they can get no place else. Seeing patients in the settings that I have seen them is not an easy task and often no dentist was willing to come to the setting. Hygienists are making a difference every day. Please explain to me how this is going to damage the patient?

    >Statement: How much are we willing to give up?

    Noel: Just what is the dentist giving up? The entire issue here is for the patient. Does the patient desire access to care? Do they have the right to choose who gives that care? What does this have to do with the dentist? A patient has the right to choose who delivers care. A patient has the right to service and direct access to a registered dental hygienist. I read so many statements here that focus on money and control. I do not see anything that is about the patient and access to care. That really concerns me.

    >Statement: “In California , only a licensed dentist can >diagnose and treatment plan. So all hygiene would be by >dentist prescription or referral,” How much more are we >willing to give up?

    Noel: Please read the dental practice act. Your statement is not correct. In a public health setting a dental hygienist can see a patient without supervision. The dental practice act states:

    Section 1763(a) provides that a RDH may provide, without supervision, educational services, oral health training programs, and oral health screenings. The RDH must refer any screened patient with possible oral abnormalities to a dentist. As stated above, section 1764(b) specifies that these services can be provided in any setting.

    In addition, Section 1763(c) provides that in any public health program created by federal, state or local law or administered by a federal, state, county, or local government entity, a RDH may also provide, again without supervision, dental hygiene preventive services in addition to oral screenings.

    Section 1763 does not provide a definition of “preventive services,” other than to state that they include, but are not limited to, the application of fluorides and pit and fissure sealants. However, it would seem that the term “preventive services” would include those duties that would fall within the broad scope of dental hygiene defined by Section 1760.5 (dental hygiene assessment and development of a dental hygiene care plan).

    In addition, it would appear that the allowable duties would also specifically include the preventive services listed in Section 1762(a) and (b), as follows:

    (a) Preventive and therapeutic interventions, including oral prophylaxis, scaling, and root planing; (Section 1762(a)) and,

    (b) Application of topical, therapeutic, and subgingival agents used for the control of caries and periodontal disease (Section 1762(b)).

    The practitioner must determine whether a procedure or service to be performed without supervision in the specified public health program (other than those specifically listed in Section 1762(a) and (b)) correctly meets the definition of a “preventive service” specified in Section 1763(c).

    Patients receiving the services of a RDH without the supervision or direction of a dentist as provided in Section 1763 would not need to meet the requirements of Section 1684.5 that he or she be a patient of record of a licensed dentist.

    Noel: Further an RDHAP can see a patient with an RX from a dentist or MD and is only to refer the patient within 18 months of the first visit. My question to you is if you are so worried about these patients why aren’t you coming forward and offering to be the dentist for these patients? Many dentists have been able to work hand in hand with the hygienists and expand their practices to serve the patients that needed treatment beyond what the hygienist could deliver. Perhaps instead of putting the successful businesses down this is an opportunity for dentists to find someone who has a great referral base for them. Perhaps if you welcomed this legal profitable business into your community more patients could have access to care and you would have more business.

    >Statement: The biggest obstacle is money. “Financially, I >don’t see how a hygienist clinic could pay for itself,” >said a general dentist. “Instead of using our equipment >and waiting room and parking lot, l think it’s a splendid >idea for dental hygienists to rent their own space, buy >their own chair, supplies and equipment, and then sign up >for a few insurance companies and make a fraction of each >dollar,” an Alaska dental office manager said >sarcastically.

    Noel: Great question and suggestions! Just so you know we took your advice years ago and we are doing very well at it, thank-you. (not said sarcastically).

    >Statement: Many worry the independent dental hygienist >could compromise dental care. “The whole concept is >flawed,” opined a Connecticut dentist. “They cannot >diagnose and read X-rays, and this will definitely lower >the standard of care. It will also make it cost more since >the doc will have to charge more to do dental exams.” The >fact is, dentists can charge more for their time than >hygienists.

    Noel: You bring up so great points once again. We do not want to diagnose. We identify and refer. Just like when a hygienist is working in your office when you are not there. So what is the difference? As far as x ray, you better go back and have the state and national boards changed. We have the same education and testing in this area. We are required to read x rays to obtain our license. Why would you have to charge more for dental exams? Are you going to change how you do them because we are not in the office with you? I am confused by this statement. Anyone can charge what ever they want for services. Will patients and insurance pay for it?

    >Statement: “I don’t see how hygiene offices make sense,” >said a Nevada dentist. “You need the possibility of a >higher revenue procedure base, like if hygiene is set up >as the front end to feed the dentist in the back. Could a >dentist set up 10 hygiene salons with the purpose of >referring patients to his office? That would be smart. >Otherwise, it is dumb from both a practical as well as >professional model.”

    Noel: Perhaps for you it does not make sense. Please look beyond the traditional model. Bringing services to the public opens up access to care. Access to care opens referrals to the dentist for further care.

    >Traditionally, dental hygienists have been a crucial part >of every dental practice. “Within a health-centered >practice, a dentist wants their practice to serve the >entire oral needs of their patients,” said a California >dentist. “A hygienist is an invaluable team member due to >close and continuous communication, which is not able to >happen in remote hygiene settings. Even in a traditional >dental practice that sees hygiene as a means of patient >circulation that keeps the work coming in, it is more >effective to have the hygienist on premises.”

    Noel: We are not trying to change that structure. We are just expanding the scope of location to practice. It does not matter if the hygienist is on premises. Communication can happen where ever you are. With this logic you had better have the lab person, and all referring professionals move in.

    >”Dentistry and hygiene go hand-in-hand,” said Jim Du >Molin, dental patient marketing expert and founder of >continuing dental education resource The Wealthy >Dentist. “Trying to separate the two will only lead to >higher costs and reduced care. The money’s just not there >to support an independent hygiene practice.”

    Noel: If you look at the old traditional model you have a point here. You must see a vision beyond your doors. The independent hygienist is out there promoting oral care, delivering services in the scope of their practice and evaluating the need to have further care. They are then sending those patients back to the dentist for that care. At no cost to you the hygienist is promoting your practice. The hygienist is going places you have never been. By embracing their practice people that you have never seen will be arriving at your door. If you are willing to work hand in hand with an independent practice hygienist this new model can be an asset to both you and your future patient.

  • Amber Smith, RDH

    Dental hygienists are exceptionally skilled dental professionals. They have a rigorous educational background which includes clinical “hands on” experience prior to graduating and obtaining a LICENSE TO PRACTICE HYGIENE. Therefore, they are rightly considered experts in their field of well….dental hygiene! If patients need care that falls within the scope of the dental hygienist. The point is, hygienists are not looking to take over the world; they are only looking to help those in need. I find this blog very amusing at best! In states like Alabama and Kansas the hygienist has been threatened to near extinction. Dentists gladly lobby for “scaling assistants” to do a registered hygienists job but when the tables are turned and other options are brought to the table, those same dentists are up in arms and cry “The poor public and their needs.” What a bunch of hypocritical whiners. The point still stands and the public can see through all the bullsh*t….the truth……dentists are scared to lose their beloved hygienists and their money making “engines” of their practice. Period.

  • http://mintwrite.blogspot.com/ Kathryn Harwood

    In Canada, we have provinces that have legislated the regulatory bodies for hygienists apart from the regulatory bodies for dentists. It is impossible to regulate and to be a fair employer. It’s much more professional for hygienists to be self-regulating and directly responsible to their public.

    I haven’t seen any comments about insurance companies accepting claims from dental hygienists. Is this a problem in the US?

    An independent hygiene practice is less stressful for phobic patients with no drilling noises and no offensive odors.

    Look to the north!

  • ELY S.

    “Without Dental Hygienists, Dentists Has No Profit!”
    I did read many articles …as above.
    Why many dentists are opposing to dental hygienist??? Losing Dental Hygienist …is losing in profit!
    Dentists are really interested to protect public health in needs? Why they maintain high cost of services and often less quality of work? Why they are concern to much about and especially against Dental Hygienists?
    The public have to know, that Dental Hygienists are trained enough in oral pathology, head anatomy, radiology to recognise the abnormality, malfunctions, lesions, irregularity….and recommend and referral patient/ client to visit a dentist, any specialist, or other health care, even laboratory, and to take more investigations about a supposing or suggesting diagnosis .
    Also Dental Hygienist is eligible to do examination, assessment to the client/ patient, because they are enough training in dental schools to do these procedures.
    It is true, Dental Hygienists cannot put diagnosis, cannot prescribe drugs, and that does not reflect Dental Hygienists does not know or be enough prepared to know, to recognise kind of the abnormality (lesions, cavities…) or any malfunctions could be present in the patient/ client mouth.
    A new technology monitor by computer can help oral health professional and give a lots of training to come into modern new era in dentistry. Contrary Dental Hygienists comes to help and screen more than any Dentists do. No diagnosis, but is help for public health in needs and continue in screening of any of cancer lesions.
    Dental Hygienists can screen cancer lesions, treat perio disease and they do not need to be dentist to do so!
    In the general dentist practice could be a situation when dentist needs a differential diagnosis and the patient/client has to be referral to tests laboratory or specialist pathologist doctor in order to take a real diagnosis.
    As you can see, dentist can manage to diagnosis patient/ client as well, take a differential diagnosis and accept cooperate with other health care specialist to conclude diagnosis.
    Dental Hygienists cannot do any diagnosis, but can referral patient/ client to Specialist, to Laboratory for tests, or screen to conclude diagnosis which supposes or suggest being.
    Read this article what Dentists fight to discredit Dental Hygienists http://www.thewealthydentist.com/blog/654/dental-hygiene-clinics/

    My Question is: Why Dentist is concerning about Right of Dental Hygienists to open a clinic?
    Dental Hygienists is coming to work in oral health team work and is looking for help public heath and protect also, at less cost and high efficiency.
    What is the different?
    If you want, compare with Dentists, Dental Hygienists is not running to doing profit! (See Dentist highest fees). Without Dental Hygienist in their clinic, dentist has less or no profit!!!
    All Dental Hygienists is looking for help public heath, and not to doing profit!!!
    Dentist is oriented to doing profit!!! See article above
    The Public Health is in need of Dental Hygienists! YES is true!
    Dental Hygienists took around 1300 hours in the dental scaling in a dental hygiene school, compare with 600 hours dentists took in dental school!!! WOW!!!
    Also Dentists in Canada are not tested in the National Board Exam about competency and proficiency into Dental Hygiene Clinical Practice. Many Dentists do not recognise any designs and utility of perio- instruments, and I do not want to say nothing about their skills.
    Really Public health needs protection!
    All the foreign dentists are incompetent to practice in Canada, because they do not have completed any Canadian Clinical Dental Hygiene Course and the Dental National Board Exam need to be remediated.
    The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and Ministry of Health to review all their license dentists and put under the Quality Assurances Committee as Dental Hygiene doing so.
    RCDSO will be surprising how many dentists has less knowledge in perio scaling instruments, as elementary they need to know…and how many dentists cannot us this simple designed instruments for scaling, because this category of dentists has less or no skills to us them. WOW!
    If RCDSO do not believe what I say, just go and take a test, and do not be surprising about incompetence of this category of dentists!!
    It is harming the public health, isn’t it?
    Dental Hygienists services are authorised today and is coming to help children, seniors, people without insurances, and all category of people in dental needs, which cannot afford highest payment fee.
    What is wrong with??? We start to work as professional team in Dentistry and to help Dentist doing good job and profit….but what is wrong! Why Dentists is going are against us?
    Dental Hygienists authorized to open a Dental Hygiene Clinic coming to help more in needs of public health!!! The cost of services is less than Dentist….WOW!
    Let me to answer:
    Yes, I think is some….Dentist cannot do too much profit, without Dental Hygienists, and right know… surprising….their job come under Dental Hygienist loupe, Dentists indirectly can be controlled by Dental Hygienists. WOW!
    Yes, Dental Hygienists as group of oral health professional team, and can have right to talk! Is not to much intimidate by Dentists!
    Dental Hygienists are not to argue against Dentists, but they are ready to talk, and say stop, to all the incompetent dentists, and ready to help all category of poor people.
    Dental Hygienists will help and come for definitely higher standard of oral dental care.
    Dental Hygienists can tell to patient what is wrong with:
    Overhangs fillings, open contact, perio status under no control, crowns and bridges incorrect delivered, dentures none fitting well, and lots of dental services improperly delivered by dentists.
    Yes, Yes this is the reason dentist do not love Dental Hygienists. They want to be single, and no bodies be over, to see and know what they doing!!!
    Because I remember a dentist who wanted to change a ‘loose’ filling and I suspected it needn’t be changed I switched dentists and fifteen years later the filling is holding on! We can be at the mercy of unscrupulous dentists, I have known more than one to be dishonest in their dental care, and perhaps a disinterested evaluation of oral health would keep the crooks in line.
    It is looks as professional conflict or dilemma, but is not. Dental Hygienists self initiate is coming on time to help, protect more public health in demand, in the modern country as Canada.
    A Dental Hygienists is a valuable team member due to close and continuous communication, which is able to happen in remote hygiene settings.
    Whether or not a Dental Hygiene Clinic can be a successful business model is none of a dentist’s business. The free market system will determine that, not a dentist. Most dentists are notoriously very poor business men/women.
    The question and ONLY question that should be asked is:
    Is it safe to the public for a Dental Hygienists to practice what he or she is already licensed to do?
    The answer is unequivocally yes, it is safe. A dental Hygienist is highly trained in oral health prevention and is able to recognize disease in the oral cavity by using x-rays and any other diagnostic instruments available. We do not require the supervision of a dentist either direct or indirect.
    Who give these Dentist lots of power to decide what the public needs or not???
    Here is playing between a coins and power. Do not live a coin to give us power, is better to give us power to take a coins!!! Take health and invest in coin!
    Thanks
    RDH, E.S.

  • Beth

    The motive of most dentists is all in the name of this web site. Period. It’s not called “The Caring Dentist”, is it?

    Hygienists are trained in prevention. Dentists obsessed with becoming wealthy don’t want their hygienist to prevent anything as it would hinder them from earning the 6 figure incomes they covet.

  • Shelly

    “The Wealthy Dentist” for sure, on the backs of Dental Hygienists.

    Dentists just don’t want to lose the steady steam of clients nor lose the income produced by the care and skill of a single underpaid, ( and no benefits either) employee.

    The old business model of obtaining dental hygiene services is over and dentists will just have to adjust their sails if they’re going to be successful. This IS in the public interest (same professional service but with better access), as well as it benefitting dental hygienists (better working conditions) as well as dentists if they would only just embrace the change and see the benefits to them.

    This article is a bunch of opinions, completely lacking in fact and you should be ashamed to even consider it for publication. What crap! really!

  • Cathy

    “THEWEALTHYDENTIST” says it all. To the dentist it is always about money. I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist for 18 years. I have worked for many dentists. Most of them are not there all week. They usually take 2 days off a week. But, guess what? The practice is open those days with hard working hygienists making them money while they go golfing or sailing. This is OK since it is still in the 4 walls of a dental clinic. Lets face it they are afraid of loosing big profits from hygiene or they will have to do hygiene themselfs. The change is here in Canada and it is just a matter of time before the public will accept this change. Oh ya, Most Health benefit insurance companies are accepting the hygiene fee guide, which is a huge success in the field and for less fortunate patients.

  • doc

    hey from a dentsit in chicago
    I am in the chicago area and about to open a hygiene clinic, cosemetic and then ahave a dentist come in 2 days a week to see the dental procedures if necessary. The concept is to go right to the public and the hygienists that are not happy in the typical relationship. Goal is to put hygienists on commission on production which would surpass the wage they make now. Would be like what happens in a “Great Clips” hair salon. Provide the space advertising and they can still be assured that their referrals into the clinic can be seen by a dentist.
    I understand the dentist psyche and have always sided with the hygienist the “backbone” of the dental practice not only clinically but personally. Patients love their hygienists!!!

  • RDH

    Hey to the “dentsit” in Chicago. Therein the next problem…the DDS with the high fees/incomes/bank accounts will open hygiene practices and still be riding on the dental hygiene money train. DDS will find every angle to keep their claws on us RDH, and to keep the cash rolling in for themselves. For RDH to be employed in such a way to compare it to a hair salon is shameful….roll em in and roll em out….the same way it has always been!!!! The more you do in the least amount of time determines your income level, and this does NOT work in the best interest of the client’s care!!!!!!

  • http://dentalassistanttrainingclass.com Hygienist School

    I think both a required for a good business..

  • Tszommer

    Hygienists would not want to have seperated from dentists if dentists would have had enough common business sense to treat us, ‘money makers’ with respect infront of the patient. Especially, concidering that they want us to ‘sell, sell’ the treatment. How are we expected to do that whenever they need to have their egos stoked they make dergoratory comments infront of the patient. If the dentists truly had any sense of business they would realize what they are doing is wrong. BUT, hey, keep it up, I have an independent practice and guess what, the patients I get are the ones that are not happy with their dentist! Keep it up dentist…. thanks!

  • Tszommer

    Jim, I realize that this site is primarily for dentists but the quotes that you have placed under dental hygiene clinics seem to fail are all from dentists and you have not mentioned the numerous successful hygiene clinics. I think you should show the public the real and true information, not just the information that comforts dentists into thinking that they are sound and secure.

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