Sound Systems Lead to Success


Is your team (like many others) struggling with hygiene open time? Aside from sending your patient a chariot to pick them up – ensuring  that they keep the appointment – you do everything within your power and you still have cancellations or no shows that poke holes in your schedule and cost the practice thousands of dollars a month … Not to mention a frustrated team !

One of our private coaching clients, Hull Dental Health in Gregory, S.D., had implemented many strong systems in with their perio and hygiene protocol, but now they needed to focus on the other systems that were broken or not working: Open time, No shows & Cancellations, and Recare/Reactivation. Their open time was on the rise, even though their perio service had doubled since going into private coaching.  We identified that they needed to work on a stronger handoff from the back to the front and then refine their confirmation system.  Watch the video and the tips below to find out how we solved their problems and set up a successful system!

  • Build value for the next visit during the current appointment by reinforcing to the patient what services of importance are necessary at their next visit.
  • During the handoff to the front desk, address in front of the patient exactly what it is that we (doctor) will be checking at the next visit.
  • 98% of all patients leave with a scheduled visit whether it is in hygiene and/or restorative
  • Of the 2% that don’t schedule, the admin team asks permission to call back on a specific date to schedule them (this should be within 1-3 days)
  • When a patient does cancel without rescheduling,  or no-shows, they are contacted immediately
  • Utilize fully the automated patient confirmation system currently in place by sending a friendly e-mail reminder of the next scheduled appointment  to the patient on the day they scheduled it
  • Place patients that have cancelled or no showed a second time on a short call list
  • Purge all “active” patients in the system that have not been in for the last 2-3 years, identifying your true active patient base that should be in the recare loop

Is there a problem with your probing technique?


I was on-site doing a private workshop for a new client recently and one of the hygienists (practicing for over 20 years) had a huge mindset shift on how to use the periodontal probe.

It wasn’t easy for her as the concepts I was teaching her went against what she was taught in school and what she has been doing all these years. It involved angling the probe into the interproximal (col) space and under the contact. 

As we talked, she mentioned that she’s always wondered why she would fall into deep defects in the interproximal while scaling but then she couldn’t confirm the depth with her probe. It was very frustrating.

Then there was the AHA moment…

She was probing only on the line angle. Her probe wasn’t reaching under the contact and that’s why she couldn’t get the same probing depths she was feeling with the scaler.

This shift in thinking took her WAY out of her comfort zone but she did it! And I am SO proud of her!

I want to give you two resources to share with your team on this topic. It’s somewhat ‘controversial’ so I want you to have some resources other than me. 🙂

1.  A super article Underestimation of Periodontal Disease written a few years ago by Trisha O’Hehir- speaker, educator, editor of Hygienetown magazine and founder of O’Hehir University.

2.  We use this image in our private workshops during the probing calibration exercise. This is from Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, 9th edition by Esther Wilkins.

Notice how it illustrates crossing the long axis of the tooth and probing into the col space under the contact. If you do not tip the probe into the col space, accurate measurement of this area is not possible.


These are great tools to use at your next hygiene team meeting. Set aside some time for probing calibration and see what AHA moments you experience.

Stay Inspired,

Do you know the secrets?


Yesterday as I was reviewing the team surveys from one of our private coaching clients, I noticed something that is extremely common and yet very frustrating.

In these surveys we ask team members what’s working and not working in the practice related to the hygiene department. One of the hygienists shared that she has a tough time knowing how to handoff a patient to the admin team when they’re on the phone.

I know I’ve experienced this myself and in my situation we came up with a solution that involved completing the treatment plan and communicating with the admin team verbally over the radio before the end of the appointment. It doesn’t work every time but it does give the financial coordinator time to prepare instead of having to do the math in front of the patient.

The point is…handoffs are crucial and there are a few secrets to giving AND receiving an effective handoff. The way the patient is received is just as important as how the patient is presented.

This month’s Hygiene Profits Mastermind special topic call addresses those secrets to a successful handoff. I hope you’ll join us!

“Secrets to Successful Handoffs”
with special guest Angela Sullivan of Productive Dentist Academy

Successful interoffice communication is one of the attributes of an exceptional dental team. Handoffs, in particular, are vital when it comes to ensuring the patient experiences a seamless transition from team member to team member. Successful handoffs in fact, are one of the cornerstones of exceptional customer service. Join us for this months’ Mastermind Call with our special guest Angela Sullivan and learn how you can improve and refine your handoffs. On this call you will learn:

Why handoffs can make or break your enrollment success
Who is responsible for the success of a handoff
Simple step-by-step formula for seamless handoffs
Date: Thursday, October 17

Time: 1:00pm Eastern

CE credits are provided by Inspired Hygiene.

Inspired Hygiene is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing dental education programs of this program provider are accepted by the AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement.

The current term of approval extends from 6/1/2010 to 5/31/2014.

If you’re not already a member of our Mastermind group, Click here to sign up.

Stay Inspired,

Are You Referable?


Like you, I’m always investing and learning to further develop my career and business. This year, I’ve been working with a business-coaching group called Strategic Coach. One of the things I’m learning is how to structure Inspired Hygiene to keep increasing value for our clients and community and gain more free time with my sweet family. Pretty awesome, huh?

The founder of this group is Dan Sullivan. He’s a true innovator and a brilliant mind in the world of entrepreneurial business and personal achievement.

In one of his books, he poses the question… ‘Are you referable?’

This question applies to any business and is one you’ll want to ask about YOUR practice and even of YOUR hygiene department. Just about every dental practice is working to increase new patient flow. We know that authentic internal marketing is one of the best ways to grow a practice so I encourage you to ask yourself this question… ‘Are we referable?’

Watch this week’s video message to find out 4 things that make you referable and how you can apply this directly to your practice, your hygiene department and most importantly, YOURSELF.

Stay Inspired,