Ra’Chelle Mattsson is surrounded by support from her doctors and the rest of the dental team. As a hygienist with Moyes-Iverson Dental in South Ogden, Utah, where she has worked for 14 years, Ra’Chelle is proud of her op and the care the practice gives to their patients. She credits communication for making the team click. “Communication is key, especially when it comes to the needs of our patients,” she says. “Our doctors are great at supporting our hygienists, as they will often reiterate any recommendations from the hygienist.”
Patients are supported by the dental team through excellent care, a friendly team, and sensitivity. The large windows showcasing the beautiful Wasatch mountains give the patients a front row seat of the changing seasons, while items such as blankets, neck pillows, and TV headphones help with physical comforts.
A recent addition to the practice is software from Weave Communications that integrates all patient communication tasks (email, collections, reminders, scheduling, etc.). Ra’Chelle says they have seen positive changes from the HIPAA-compliant system. “Our office has seen a reduction in cancellations and missed calls, along with improved monthly appointments, patient retention, and patient acquisition.”
A recently upgraded digital imaging system, RVG 6200 Carestream digital x-ray system, has given the practice higher image quality for better disease detection and more durable sensors for less maintenance cost.
Favorite products include Sunstar Gum 525 Deep Clean toothbrushes, Sunstar Gum 509 Sensitive/Ultra Suave toothbrushes, Sunstar Gum Professional Clean Flossers and Soft-Picks, Philips Sonicare toothbrushes, Oral-B Glide floss, Oraqix (Dentsply Sirona), Voco Profluorid Varnish, and Voco Admira Protect Desensitizer. Ra’Chelle loves her 2.5x SheerVision loupes, but she has her eye on the new Orascoptic HDL 2.5 Micro Loupes for a lighter weight option.
Ra’Chelle’s patients are her favorite part of her job. “I enjoy our conversations and discussions about life, family, school, vacations, work, books, movies, TV shows, etc.,” she says. “Life in enjoyed being a support through those life changes for our patients. Sometimes I see patients who just need that time in my hygiene chair to enjoy a moment of silence. I feel being sensitive to those I treat is important. You never know what a patient is going through when they come through your door. Having a keen awareness is key when it comes to working with various personalities daily. And I love that interaction with people.”
A dedicated dental hygiene assistant supports the hygiene team with patient care. Ra’Chelle says having a hygiene assistant increases production, decreases patient wait time, and gives the hygienists more time for patient assessment and education. The assisted hygiene flow relies on coordination between all the team members. The hygiene assistant seats the patient and takes necessary x-rays. The hygienist reviews health history, performs the oral cancer exam, and does the perio charting, while the assistant takes notes.
“After the appropriate treatment for the patient is determined and periodontal education is given, an adult prophylaxis, scaling gingival inflammation, or scaling and root planing is performed,” says Ra’Chelle. “The assistant will oftentimes aid in suctioning during treatment.” Toward the end of scaling, the assistant brings the next patient back into the second operatory and takes necessary x-rays. Once scaling is complete in the first operatory, the hygienist exits to greet and evaluate the second patient while the assistant flosses and polishes, sits in on the exam with the doctor, and takes notes. The hygiene assistant escorts the patient to the front office to communicate the next-visit treatment plans and assists the hygienist with charting the second patient. While the hygienist performs treatment, the assistant cleans the first room and seats the next patient.
“Our office is able to accommodate up to 18 hygiene patients from the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” says Ra’Chelle. “And on Thursdays, three hygienists with their own assistants each see up to 18 patients for a total of 54 patients. No restorative appointments are scheduled for the doctors, other than allotted emergency time, and just exams are performed on Thursdays.”
“I feel I can spend more quality time with patients, get a more accurate assessment of their periodontal condition, educate patients for the purpose of treatment planning, and supplement with oral hygiene instructions,” she says. “We pride ourselves in having a great system where both the hygienist and the assistant help each other out. Not only do we help each other, but we also extend that help to the rest of the office. And our patients notice the difference in our standard of care.”
The dental team supports each other as well. “Our doctors are very supportive of our team and feel it is important to create opportunities for our office to spend time doing things that are not work related,” says Ra’Chelle. “Our office participated in the Dirty Dash Mud Run, and our photo was featured on Dirty Dash’s Facebook page. We also took a trip down to Moab, Utah, for some exciting adventures riding Razors through Utah’s beautiful trails.”
“Working with a team that is respectful of the individual contributions we each make has made me most proud of my op.”