Regular cleaning with a professional dental hygienist is the best way to prevent oral health problems such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and bad breath. Keeping teeth and gums healthy also helps maintain overall health since plaque and bacterial buildup may contribute to other illness, such as heart disease. Taking a preventative approach to health is always a wise investment, but how does a person ensure they receive great service?
Here is a list of considerations when selecting a hygienist. These are important qualities to look for in a professional for the best possible experience.
Arguably the most important quality to look for in selecting a hygienist is their personality. Feeling comfortable and at ease during a treatment can be the difference between a good or bad patient experience. Discussing hygiene habits and any issues can be a sensitive subject, so having a hygienist that is patient, compassionate and understanding goes a long way. While cleaning skills can be taught, personality is a matter of chemistry, and some people simply “gel” better than others so its important patients select someone they feel comfortable around.
Education and Experience
A great hygienist has a well-rounded resume with up-to-date training and a good track record with their work history. Most clinics will have their hygienists’ licenses and certifications visible, often framed on the wall. These days you can research a professional online with a simple Google search. Everything from their education history, social media profiles, to patient reviews may be available to browse online before even stepping foot into a clinic. However, patients needn’t be afraid to ask for a meet and greet in advance or to see some patient testimonials. Same goes for the Dentist! Having confidence in a professional’s credentials is the first step to building a trusting relationship.
Not only does a hygienist need to be able to decipher patients’ open-mouth discussions, but more importantly they need to be skilled at non-verbal communication. Sometimes patients may be facing fears or dealing with pain and discomfort and aren’t always 100% comfortable with voicing these issues openly. A good dental hygienist is able to pick up on body language and understand what’s not being said. They should also be able to disarm and calm a patient through conversation. Whether they are talking about the weather or talking a patient through the treatment, the ability to hold a conversation and educate the patient is an important trait to look for in a hygienist.
For any profession, loving what you do and being good at your job is the recipe for a successful career. People who are passionate about their work are usually more engaged and hold themselves to a higher standard than those who aren’t as interested. This is an important quality to look for in a dental hygienist because the nature of their work is highly detail-oriented. Paying careful attention, being thorough and going the extra mile during this preventative treatment can potentially save a patient money and pain down the road.
Information about Ivory Dental’s hygienists is available on the About Us page.