Are Successful Dental Hygiene Clinics a Myth?

Post your comments about dental hygiene clinics to our blog. Read the independent dental hygienists press release.

In this survey, we asked dentists if they had ever seen a successful, private, independent dental hygiene clinic. Only 2% said they knew of a successful one.

But why is that? We found that 76% of dentists think it’s not a profitable business model, whereas 22% think hygiene practitioners’ hands are tied by state laws.

"The whole concept is flawed… It will definitely lower the standard of care. It will also make it cost more," said one general dentist.




Dentists are the gatekeepers of health care

  • "Bad for the public, good for hygienists. How much more are we willing to give up? We are health care providers. not just a good business model!" (New York prosthodontist)
  • "In California, only a licensed dentist can diagnose and treatment plan. So all hygiene would be by dentist prescription or referral. I don’t see this happening, at least in California. Financially, I don’t see how it could pay for itself." (California dentist)

Consider the financial side

  • "Instead of expecting $50 an hour using my equipment and waiting room and parking lot, l think it’s a splendid idea for dental hygienists to rent their own space, buy their own chair, supplies and equipment, and then sign up for a few insurance companies and make a fraction of each dollar. Then they can subcontract for a DDS to come in to do exams at $200 an hour!"(Alaska dental office manager)

Lowering the standard of care

  • "The whole concept is flawed. They cannot diagnose and read X-rays, and this will definitely lower the standard of care. It will also make it cost more since the doc will have to charge more to do dental exams." (Connecticut dentist)

It’s not practical

  • "I don’t see how it makes sense. You need the possibility of a higher revenue procedure base, like if hygiene is set up as the front end to feed the dentist in the back. Could a dentist own a hygiene salon with the purpose of referring patients to his office? Perhaps a dentist could sets up 10 hygiene offices to refer back to his practice? That would be smart. It is dumb from both a practical as well as professional model." (Nevada dentist)

Hygienists are valuable team members

  • "Within a health-centered practice, a dentist wants their practice to serve the entire oral needs of their patients. A hygienist is an invaluable team member due to close and continuous communication, which is not able to happen in remote hygiene settings. Even in a traditional dental practice that sees hygiene as a means of patient circulation that keeps the "work" coming in, it is more effective to have the hygienist on premises." (California dentist)

 

Note: Survey sample included 54 respondents.

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