Using protocols and the best possible oral healthcare products results in a win-win for patients and the practice, says hygienist Diane Rochford.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges to patients and dental practices over the past months. But in a strange way it has been a positive for dentistry.
So says Diane Rochford, a dental hygienist at Linda Greenwall & Associates, London. She is also the current president of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy.
Diane was speaking at Biomin’s expert panel discussion at the recent online conference, the Oral Health Summit, entitled ‘The “smart” way to provide preventative oral care for a profitable practice’.
Recognising the need to keep patients educated and motivated to maintain their oral health routine when they were unable to come to the surgery during the lockdowns, Diane and her colleagues have worked hard to give consistent messages repeatedly. And to keep in contact with patients via newsletters and other communication.
‘As we know, good oral health is linked to systemic health,’ she adds.
Diane believes strongly in showing patients visually what is going on in their mouth. She extensively uses disclosing and the intraoral camera to demonstrate their progress to patients. Or to show them areas of concern such as broken teeth or fillings.
‘It’s an opportunity for us,’ she said. ‘If they can see what’s going on it motivates them and helps them see the importance of good oral hygiene.
‘Good service gives them a positive feeling and keeps them coming back. That is good for practice profitability.’
Being unable to attend appointments in the pandemic means patients appreciate what the dental team does for them, she adds.
Whitening treatments are becoming more popular as people see themselves on Zoom and Teams, Diane said. It is a major part of the work of her practice.
Protocols, including the choice of effective products, are in place to manage sensitivity during treatment. ‘We aim to manage, not prevent sensitivity,’ she said. ‘Because we know that patients are going to have some degree of sensitivity.
‘We use products like Biomin to help with that sensitivity. And having protocols in place enables the patient to complete the treatment and have a successful outcome.
‘Whitening is a huge practice builder. So if the patient has a good outcome, not only are they happy but they will tell their friends and family.
‘That’s a really good way to help with profitability and grow the practice.’
She summarised: ‘We follow protocols to ensure we achieve really good, consistent results and use products – both for whitening and desensitising – to help them have a more positive experience of the whole whitening treatment.’
‘Biomin helps improve their quality of life’
Diane went on: ‘Achieving optimal oral health is our goal for our patients all the time.’ Doing this through educating and motivating them will lead to a huge win-win for both the practice and for the patients themselves, she said. And she recommends products to support this.
‘We look for really good quality products. If we know a product is going to work, and we believe in it, we can recommend it to our patients with confidence.
‘A product like Biomin with really good scientific evidence can help us to help a patient with their quality of life. Sensitivity can have a really negative impact on that quality of life,’ she said.
‘Having products such as Biomin helps improve their quality of life. It enables them to enjoy their food and daily lifestyle.
‘Having the opportunity to try products with our patients and get their feedback encourages us to keep working with them and recommending them as we get more information.
‘I recommend Biomin F often to patients with dentine sensitivity, with erosive tooth wear and during whitening. It fits in with lots of different aspects of oral healthcare.’
For more information on Biomin F, visit biomin.co.uk.