DENTAL HYGIENISTS - ARE THEY WORTH IT?
This is question that often comes up. In a nutshell yes, dental hygienists are worth it as they can do the following very effectively:
- They can in most cases clean teeth better than a dentist as this is what they do all the time
- Their hourly charge out is 50 to 70% less than a dentist. This save you money
- They can give you oral hygiene instruction for all the things mentioned above plus give dietary advice much more cost effectively than a dentist.
- Good oral hygiene is one of the best things that can be taught by a dental hygienist but is often least appreciated by patients.
Cleaning teeth can be painful for some people. Most times this is not an issue but if it is, get the hygienist to drop in some local anaesthetic.
Like recall check-ups, hygiene appointments and X-rays don’t necessarily need to be done six monthly if you have everything under control.
Also, if the dentist and staff structure the appointments correctly you can have the dental hygienist do their thing and the dentist follow straight on while your mouth is still numbed down. This makes everything more comfortable; fewer needles are needed; and you spend less time in a place that most people prefer to spend as little time as possible – the dental chair!
Another option is dental therapists
Dental therapists are predominately found in government clinics but can also be found in some private clinics now days. They can do all of the functions that a dental hygienist can along with simple fillings; extractions; minor orthodontics etc. up to a certain age which varies from state to state.
They are paid by the government in public clinics but in private clinics a fee will be charged. The regulations change from state to state so you will need to follow up in your state.