Preparing for the future
The Dentist talks to Emily Johnston about the current state of dental hygiene.
What are some of the key challenges many dental hygienists and dental therapists face in general practice today?
Time constraints are clearly key in practice. At the moment, as a student, I have an hour to spend with a patient, and even with that, I need to speed up. Some dental hygienists are doing 20-minute appointments without a break, and I don't know how they do it.
I also think patient management and patient compliance are challenging. In fact, with some referrals, the patients claim not even to know why they’re with us!
So, you have to start from scratch, explaining gum disease and how it can be managed. Some people become really engaged and enthusiastic and want to take control of their own oral health, while others are just going through the motions while they are in the chair.