Trait #9 – Rock Star Hygienists Start Treatment Early

Trait #9 – Rock Star Hygienists Start Treatment Early

One of the keys to being an effective, efficient, productive, high-level hygienist is to take a proactive approach with your patients. If you’re a hygienist, so many pieces of your day-to-day work hinge on your ability and willingness to start perio treatment early.

This one piece often determines your level of profitability, whether or not you run on time and also if you’re fulfilled in your career! This is a BIG deal. If you’re frustrated with doing too many bloody prophies and lots of scaling during your prophy appointment, it may be time to revise your perio protocols.

Here are a couple things to think about that I hope will encourage you to be more proactive and recommending perio treatment earlier:

1-In their consensus paper with the Journal of Cardiology, the AAP defines advanced periodontitis as moderate-severe bone loss with gingival probing depths greater than 5mm. So along with their classification statements, that gives me the evidence to teach that moderate perio is slight-moderate bone loss with 5mm and beginning perio is when we see even slight bone loss and 4mm pockets. AND bleeding is our sign of active infection so that is a critical component too.

2-The ADA and AAP also state that x-rays routinely underestimate the extent of bone loss. And studies have shown that with digital radiographs, 30% of the density of bone must be lost before it’s visible to the human eye.

Ask yourself these questions:

Am I doing prophies on patients with slight bone loss, bleeding and 4,5,6mm pockets?

Could I be more proactive and move these patients into even localized therapy so they have the chance to get well and I have the time I need to properly treat those infected areas?

Stay Inspired,
Rachel

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