Assisted Dental Hygiene
Our practice is currently “thinking” about transitioning to Assisted Dental Hygiene. We attended a class at the Florida Dental Convention but the questions we had regarding the nuts and bolts of such a practice were not covered. Most of the seminar was on equipment needs, compensation, insurance coding. What we would like to know is what does a daily schedule look like with this type of practice? Who seats the patient? Updates health histories? Takes films? Does the assistant polish? When does the doctor do his exam? Who is responsible for the clinical notes? Exactly what is the RDH role in this: is it only scaling? I would really appreciate some guidance with this. Any articles addressing this topic would be welcomed as well as your observations.
Thank you for your help.
Eugenia Elliott, RDH
Great question! I have never had the luxury of working with a dental assistant but it’s obvious that such a team concept can enhance patient care. There are not specific guidelines about how your practice should utilize a dental hygiene assistant since the duties of the assistant are dependent on individual state practice acts. However, some practice management consultants have developed work flow models, including this one from Dental Practice Solutions: Work Flow Model You may want to do a Google search to discover additional models and suggestions. Ultimately, how you work with a dental assistant will need to be customized to your practice setting.