Suggestions for the dental hygienist (and dental practice) to make the most of the holiday season

December 16, 2014

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark? Clark: Oh, Eddie ... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?

Clark: Oh, Eddie ... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

The schedules in many practices during the holiday season may play out just like the Griswolds' Christmas Vacation! As we prepare for those who are home from college, off work or new to the practice as well as emergencies, cancelations, walk-ins with an attitude for entitlement, out-of-town family members and the patients who purchased whitening specials that have procrastinated, what can look like a routinely scheduled day from June becomes daily mayhem.

Some practices will make the best of it, as Clark Griswold did with unexpected surprises, leaving behind a path of destruction while questioning our sanity and repeating the pattern year after year!

Download DPR’s free e-book: What you need know about changing dental fees and what you're charging patients

Here are some suggestions to consider for your hygiene schedule during the holiday season.

  • Add holiday hours to your schedule.

  • Reserve a time every day from December 15ish on in the late morning or early afternoon for those who are home from college. They don’t like to get up early, and if their parents make them, it is safe to say they will be late. Check their treatment plan as the doctor may accommodate treatment if needed. 

  • Select certain days to practice assisted hygiene. Keep the doctor free of lengthy appointments to avoid running behind. Those patients who are routine will be your targets for these days.

  • If you have a treatment room that may easily be equipped with hygiene appointment essentials, you may elect to contact a hygienist who temps in your area. The option may include days or additional holiday hours.

Is there still going to be chaos in your schedule? Of course!

Related reading: Dentistry and nutrition: How dairy is actually hurting your teeth and bones

Discuss the scenarios first mentioned or add your own Griswold flavor to set you up for a successful and productive December! Yes, there is still some action to take today! Check out how the remainder of this month looks and to determine your saving grace or whether you are going to need nine lives to live through it!

Eddie: [Referring to the electrocuted cat] That thing had nine lives. You just spent 'em all.