Dental Nurses and the Whitening Experience
Does your practice offer home tooth whitening systems? Dental nurses can really get involved in this aspect of a patients experience.
As a nurse we can take the patient through the whole record taking stage which would include taking impressions to make their custom trays, taking a shade and a full set of Intra and extra oral photographs ( which of course can be used for your practice portfolio).
Allowing extra time during an appointment like this would also permit the nurse to deliver a high level of communication regarding the tooth whitening process and confirm the patients understanding of the associated risks and benefits and advice on managing sensitivity, thus confirming the patients understanding and ensuring consent is still valid.
In addition as nurses we can then pour, cast and trim study models and fabricate a vacuum formed whitening tray (I don’t like the term bleaching tray).This is not only another great skill for a nurse to develop, but can cut down on patients waiting time for their whitening trays and saves on laboratory fees
Having this aspect of the patient experience carried out by a nurse allows a skilled nurse to deliver patient focused care and communication, allows the nurse to show our patients a different perspective of the nurses role instead of just being “the one with the sucky thing” as they currently see us, and it releases non essential clinical time from a dentists diary. Meaning the dentist can see a potentially higher value treatment while still earning revenue from the whitening.
The dentist would see the patient for a shorter appointment in order to check the fit of the whitening trays, dispense the whitening solution and importantly demonstrate its safe use.
When developing this role in practice I found it very beneficial having our representative from the whitening company come in to deliver in-house training to ensure everyone involved understood the product, how it worked, what the risks and benefits were and the limitations of the product.
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