Dos and don'ts for productivity: Use hygiene as a foundation for growth

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Dentists who provide hygiene care for patients personally, or who hesitate to add hygiene department staff, are limiting their production potential significantly. Hygienists and hygiene assistants should account directly for 25% of practice income, and delegating to them also allows you to reach higher doctor production targets.


Think of hygiene hiring and training as investments. Any successful business owner will tell you that you have to spend money to make money. Invest in staffing your hygiene department. Provide script-based training in how to build relationships, keep patients scheduled, and educate them about available services. The ultimate result will be increased hygiene and doctor production.


Don't spend your time performing hygiene services. If you want your practice to grow, learn to let go. Just as you should delegate most administrative tasks to staff, you should also leave hygiene to hygienists. Increase your capacity for performing higher-level dentistry, then upgrade marketing and case presentation systems to take advantage of this increased production potential.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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