How do dentists feel about Independent Dental Hygiene?
We hope that dentists are highly educated professionals who strive to put their patients’ needs above their personal goals. The majority of dentists know the rules and work with us. We work and refer with those dentists because if they respect us, they will respect you. They want us to see the work they have done in your mouths so we can continue to refer other clients who choose our office where to go. It is your right to be your advocate and choose your dental hygienist. The dentist typically does not practice dental hygiene treatment, they are busy doing dentist treatment. The traditional dental office business model established in the 1950’s allowed the dentist to offer dental hygiene with a standing order so they could be busy doing dentist work. Today, the traditional model has changed, and collaborative interdisciplinary client-centered care is the approach. There are currently over 150 independent dental hygiene offices in Ontario and more and more are establishing. The profession of dentistry was originally established as something a barber did when you had a toothache. Then, dentistry learned about preventing dental disease, and dental hygiene developed. Today, dental hygiene is an independent profession.
When it comes time to see the dentist, there are so many dentist offices available, how do I choose one?
Choosing a dentist can be difficult. The market is overwhelming. More and more dentists are graduating, and the millennial generation need less and less restorative dental work. Reviews, price cuts, and incentives are not allowed within the RCDSO guidelines, but they are happening. How do you choose? Is it the free whitening, the nice building or the warranty on dental work that appeals to you? Do you need the procedures that that particular dentist is investing their continuing education and practice equipment dollars towards? Do you listen to a family member or friend who offers an experience they had, only to find out it did not turn out as well for you because your mouth and value system are completely different than theirs?
Here is how we can help. We can refer you to a Dentist or Specialist.
Presently there aren’t rules in place to establish which dentist or specialist to refer you to, so we decided on our own. Location, hours and convenience are important, but when it comes to your Dentist or Specialist care, we feel you need to consider more criteria when considering a new Dentist or Specialist. We are here to help! In our Independent Dental Hygiene practice, we see all kinds of mouths! Mouths with all sorts of dental work. Our team has taken the time to meet with and understand the Dentist’s that we refer our client’s too. We have even had them work in our very own mouths! We visit their practice; we meet their team, we see what materials they buy and learn what they are passionate about. We do not receive financial compensation for referring you to a Dentist or a Specialist. However what we do is from our experience and our observations we develop an opinion based on what we feel your individual client-centered needs are in a Dentist. We then discuss with you typically two or three Dentist practices or Specialist practices that could likely meet your needs. Once we agree with you on a Dentist or Specialist selection, we complete a referral letter on your behalf, and we include as much information about you as we can to introduce you to your new Dentist or Specialist. This way they can prepare for your appointment. We receive the sheer gratification that you are on your way to achieving a healthy mouth!
If I had my dental hygiene treatment done at your independent dental hygiene office, what happens when I go to my appointment with my dentist?
Typically, but depending on how your dentist operates the practice, by having your dental hygiene treatment completed at our office, we ask for your consent so we can update your dentist on our findings. When you attend your dentist appointment, it allows you to have one on one time with your dentist. There is no need for you to be scheduled with the dental hygienist at your dentist’s office. Typically, your dentist will review our findings and complete an intraoral checkup; they may then prescribe necessary radiographs based on their observations. Most of our clients prefer this. They feel they are not being rushed by a dentist who is busy with other procedures trying to check their teeth at the end of their dental hygiene appointment. You can schedule exclusive time with your dentist to discuss and review your oral concerns one on one!
I have dental insurance, and I make my dental needs decisions based on my dental insurance. How does using your independent dental hygiene office affect my dental insurance plan when I see my dentist?
There are many dental insurance plans in Ontario, and we have found that most dental insurance plans offer coverage towards a complete oral examination every 3-5 years. Most of the dentists schedule one exclusive hour with you and service you with the complete oral examination. Sometimes, they update your x-rays if you need them updates. Your dentist will bill you and/or your dental insurance plan for this visit. From your complete oral exam appointment, your dentist can diagnose and determine the dental work that you require. They can provide you with a dental work treatment plan. Your dentist will discuss a timeline with you, and you will both come up with a mutual time frame to complete the dental work that you need. It may be over a period of one to three years, and the dental work is typically completed in order of priority. Once your treatment plan is in place, you many not need the regular 6 or 9-month routine recall checkup that your dental insurance plan covers unless a new area of concern appears. The theory is that if you saw your dentist for a one-hour complete oral examination in January and you have dental work that needs to be complete over the next tow years, do you need to see your dentist for a recall dentist exam 6 months later in July? And, consider this, you may have seen your dentist for a treatment of dental work between January and June. Do you need another recall dentist exam? You will likely need your teeth scaled or cleaned, and your dental plan covers scaling units based on time for you to have your teeth scaled or cleaned in 15 minute time intervals. This means that 1 unit of scaling time is equal to 15 minutes of dental hygiene cleaning or scaling time. Ideally, if your dental insurance plan is on the January 1 to December 31 calendar year, I would assume you don’t want your dentist to maximize your dental plan early in January. This could leave you with little to no dental insurance coverage until the following January. This means, should an emergency come up, your dental plan won’t cover your dental emergency, and you will have to pay for your treatment personally. This could also mean that you won’t have any dental insurance coverage left to have your teeth scaled or cleaned to prevent dental disease. It is important to discuss your dental insurance plan and your oral health goals with your dentist.