More and more dental hygiene clinics are opening up around the city and in other provinces. So what are the benefits of seeing an independent dental hygienist?
1) The cost is lower. The dental hygiene fee guide is lower than the dental fee guide. This means you get the exact same dental cleaning service (or hopefully even better) for a lower price !
2) There are no wait lists. Are there long wait lists at your dental office? Do you sometimes have to wait weeks or even months for a cleaning appointment? Not at an independent hygiene office.
3) The services are more individualized and your dental hygienist is less rushed, resulting in a much better, more comprehensive service.
4) The dental hygienist sees less patients a day in independent cleanings, meaning they book longer appointments for the people they do see. They have more time to address your specific needs and concerns, and more energy to do a great job!
5) The environment is often less ‘clinical’. My office for instance is more like a spa setting, that is both comfortable and welcoming. Right away, clients feel more at ease and less anxious than they may feel in a traditional dental office.
6) There are no ‘sales pitches’ or expensive treatment plans suggested. Of course if we think you should see a dentist for any reason we will let you know and provide you with the appropriate referral if necessary. But in the end, it is your mouth, your body and your decision whether you wish to pursue those recommendations, and therefore no pressure!
7) Healthcare is moving in a direction of prevention rather than treatment. We want to prevent the diseases, rather than treat the disease after the fact. The dental hygienists role is prevention! Of course we treat gum disease, but we also prevent it from developing or getting worse.
8) Finally, you should have the choice where you get your teeth cleaned! You don’t go to your doctor for massage, acupuncture, chiropractics or physiotherapy. Why do you ‘have to’ go to a dentist for dental hygiene treatment? But if you want to that is great too! More choices gives more options and increases access to preventative health care for the public, and that is what we want to do.
Emma Johnson is the owner of Pearl Boutique, a clinic that specializes in teeth whitening. She is a registered dental hygienist and completed her diploma at Camosun College, which offers one of the best recognized dental hygiene programs in Canada. Emma also holds a health science degree in kinesiology from the University of the Fraser Valley.