but what will my dentist say?

but what will my dentist say?


We know, we know, we hear it often – you want to “try out” a dental hygiene clinic but you are concerned there will be some consequence with your dentist.

We have heard :
“I want to book an appointment at Lifetime Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic for my cleaning, but I like my dentist”
“I want to try out a different dental hygienist but I am worried my dentist will be upset”
“I want to book an appointment but what will my dentist think? what will my dentist say?”

“I enjoy seeing my dentist but I want to see a different dental hygienist- I don’t click with the one I am currently seeing”

These inquiries tend to increase after there is media coverage regarding rising costs of dentistry in Alberta, or in Canada.

We are also asked if dentists give us grief, or flack, or cause problems for us. We hear it all…and no, we have not had grief from any dentist. We have professional working relationships and refer to dentists, denturists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, periodontists, dermatologists, medical doctors, speech pathologists and many other health care professionals. The goal is the best overall treatment for our clients.

Is it irrational to be concerned? No, of course not. You may have a long-term patient relationship with your dentist that you are completely happy with. That is fine, you can still continue to see your dentist for your regular dental examinations. In fact, we encourage you to do so if you are pleased with the care you have received. You can have your dental cleaning at our clinic and continue to see your dentist, and this is the case for the majority of those who see us. We also treat patients who do not have a dentist of record in this province, or sometimes in the country. I have forwarded digital radiographs and intra-oral photos to Columbia for my patients. We live in a very global world, with advanced technology.

We have also been told by clients that once they were no longer booking their dental hygiene cleanings at their “regular” dental clinic, that they were given the cold shoulder, or had been discouraged by dental staff to go “elsewhere” for their cleanings. This behaviour I would certainly question. Patient autonomy should be supported by the dentist and all dental staff. You are free to seek and choose care where and with whom you want. It would be unethical for a dentist to deny to see you based on the decision that you are having dental hygiene treatment at a dental hygiene clinic. If this situation arises- perhaps have a frank discussion with your dentist before deciding not to ever see him/her again.

As far as my qualifications as a dental hygienist – I am the same dental hygienist whether you seek treatment from me at Lifetime Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic, or have treatment with me if I was an employee of a dentist in a dental clinic. In other words my skills, experience and education are the same independent of which clinic I am working in.I have a diploma in Dental Hygiene from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Alberta, I am on the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (CRDHA) roster for administration of local anesthetic (dental freezing) as well as for  prescribing and administering N2/O2 conscious sedation (laughing gas). All dental hygienists practicing at Lifetime Smiles Dental Hygiene clinic are registered with CRDHA and are members of the Canadian Dental Hygiene Association. Hygienists at our clinic work in a variety of settings, including dental clinics and others exclusively at Lifetime Smiles.  If someone is questioning the qualifications of dental hygienists working in a dental hygiene clinic in an attempt to influence your decision – ask questions, be informed.

The choice is yours! Decide for yourself.

5 Responses to but what will my dentist say?

  1. really interesting. In my dentist office I find I have more of and built a relationship with my dental hygienist than my dentist as she is the one who does all the work… I hope she never has to leave the office.

  2. I know quite a few hygienists in Ontario who left the dentist’s office to start their own practice. Having a best friend who is a hygienist, I have heard the complaints from both sides. It takes an adjustment in thinking to be comfortable with leaving the dentist’s office behind, but really, it’s the hygienist who is doing all the regular work anyways. I don’t get attached to hygienists – I find the turnover to be quite high.

Leave a Comment


Email* (never published)