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Friday, January 11, 2013

I am NOT a salesman- Part 1

When I decided to pursue dental hygiene as my profession I envisioned myself helping patients by cleaning their teeth and educating them on their dental health.  I think that I imagined that patients would be grateful for the service I was providing them- similar to  the way I appreciate nurses when I go to the hospital.

The reality of the profession that I have chosen is that a majority of patients don't value the service they are receiving,  their main objective is to get in and get out as quickly and cheaply as possible. To make the job of a dental hygienist even more of a struggle we are also trying to give the dentists that we work for the result that they are looking for- happy satisfied patients who want to schedule their restorative treatment.

Dentistry has evolved and it can be a challenge as a dental hygienist to evolve with it.

We are dealing with people -obstacle 1.

 We are usually identifying problems that they had no idea existed before their visit- obstacle 2.

We are attempting to create enough concern that the patient wants to part with their own money to fix the problem (thanks to laughable insurance coverage) without scaring them away-obstacle 3.

After numerous seminars, workshops, conferences on how to get patients to accept treatment (or be a better salesman)  I finally had the chance to meet with a consultant that I feel gave realistic suggestions and strategies to "ethically diagnose"  and present treatment in a way that makes the patient want ideal treatment.

I am not a person who feels comfortable forcing,tricking or talking down to someone to get them to do what I want. With a lot of coarses I have attended in the past I sit back thinking "I could never say that to a patient, because I would not want someone to say that to me." I also have had the thought that some of these suggestions sound degrading. And it always starts to feel like something is wrong with me for not feeling comfortable enough to ask my patient what I think is a  ridiculous question, or even throwing out somewhat threatening statements.

Example: How important are your teeth to you? Would you like to keep them?

Ok... so you should ask this of all your patients to evaluate their level of commitment and concern for their teeth. If you propose treatment and they object you have leverage to state "well Mrs. Smith I thought that your teeth  were  very important to you, but I see that you have changed your mind so we can do nothing and wait for the tooth to fall out..."  

WHAT?? what hygienist  feels good about this conversation, NOT me!! It makes me feel like a slimy salesman- which I am not! I am advocate for my patient and their health.

Suppose you went to the eye doctor and he began the appointment by asking you if you like your eyes and if you wanted to keep them- it would be ridiculous, that is what the dental patient thinks.

Over my next few blog posts I will share with you some of the ah-ha moments I had during the past 2 days.

I urge you to visit this site you can try the online coarse for free for 30 days and I know it will change the way you talk to your patients.


  1. A certified dental technician or CDT, on the other hand, has a salary package of $41,000 dollars annually. But he or she can earn up to $69,000 or $70,000 per year if his or her credentials are great. Dental Assistant Salary

  2. I respect a lot people who chose this vital profession. Especially those who do that from their heart and really want to help people. Buffalo Dentists

  3. Reading your post today, after a few years of the post, I must say that you do that vision of “change is in the wind”. Teeth Products Cleaning

  4. Haha that's a really good example, I really wonder what a patient reactions is to "how would you like to keep your teeth". But yes, I do agree with you.. we should never focus on selling.. selling someone is slimy and doesn't feel good. But I think if we just focus on the benefits then it'll just work itself out with the patients. Dental Hygienist Salary

  5. I agree with you that Dental Hygienists is an interesting career.There are many people who has dental problems and never visit dentist because they are afraid from the pain.But now technology has changed a lot and they will feel no pain.

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  6. Thanks for this I've been looking for a dentist in Elgin, IL and I really enjoyed reading this blog on dental hygiene.

  7. This is a very nice blog indeed and because of it betriebshygiene has helped me so much!

  8. Yes, It is an excellent career to begin with. Our professional team provide dental hygiene jobs to the students looking out to get training under proper guidance.

  9. It is so important for dentistry professionals to do what's best for their patient's oral health. Prescribing expensive treatments when the patient may not need them is unethical in my opinion, and that's not how we run our dental practice. Cheers - Dr. Brad Anderson of Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND

  10. Dentistry is a noble profession and the dentist should make every attempt to refrain themselves from considering everything in financial aspects. Dr. Sharma ( )


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