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March 28, 2007


Patricia F. Memmo

"There is no money in prevention, so these hygiene offices would go out of business."
This comment was in the survey of dentists concerning independent dental hygiene practice. I find it ironic that dental hygienists are most concerned about prevention, unlike dentists who are more concerned about the money. Isn't that why the rural areas in this country are suffering? No money in it for the dentists. Let the hygienists offer early preventative care to pediatric patients, ie. MI care, instead of the old drill 'em and fill 'em mode of care now present with most dentists.

Patricia F. Memmo RDH

A Very Frustrated Hygienist

I just read the results of the survey indicating most dentists do not want hygienists to become more independent because they do not want the standard of care to be diminished. I would like to survey the same dentists and find out how many of them utilized expanded functions assistants in their practice. These assistants are placing the sealants, making temporaries, placing amalgams and resins, removing cement, and adjusting the fillings. The dentist basically drills the holes and leaves, then comes back supposedly to check the final result.

I can assure these dentists that the standard of care has diminished. I have seen more residual cement causing plaque retention, perio problems, and pain. I believe these assistants who practice for a short time on models, and are usually trained by each other (as I have no knowlege of any expanded functions training programs) are doing more to diminish the standard of care than allowing more access by hygienists, (who are well trained and capable) to perform procedures that could improve the quality of lives and health. I am not blaming the assistants, and in some cases, their fillings are much better than the dentist. However, many are not skilled, or have any dental background other than what they have learned on the job.

I say the dentists (not all) want their cake and the ability to eat it too.

How sad for the unsuspecting public. I think it is a big control issue.

Dental student (Australia)

Just because a person goes to dental school it doesn't mean that they are more capable than a hygienist, in the dental field you learn with experience. They can do just a good a job if they chose to go to dental school. In australia, a lot of people are moving from Dentistry into hygiene, because it is very good money and they are well respected as oral health proffessionals, and are able to own their own practice. I don't think that dentists should look down at hygienists, as they are in a legue of their own, just like the dentist is also in a legue of their own.


Get ready dentists, California has a new designation, its the RDHAP and I got mine through UOP (a very well respected dental school) and we can now practice hygiene independently and hire dentists on a production basis. Healthcare is evolving finally we can offer dental care that people in underserved areas can afford. The business model is strong and successful here CA. It is the wave of future and its happening NOW!

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