Nominated by Craig L. Snyder, DDS, PA, Towson Dental Care
Tricia has been in dental hygiene for 19 years and I was blessed when she joined my team six months ago.
She has, with a professional style and enthusiasm, transformed my mediocre hygiene system into a first rate, up-to-date, exciting aspect of my practice. Tricia has a very organized approach to ensure every patient has updated medical histories, perio charting, blood pressures, and appropriate radiographs. I must admit I got away from monitoring my hygiene program, such that visits became “cleanings” and patients seemed unenthusiastic about their dental health.
Tricia has single handedly turned this from a ho-hum aspect of our practice to a fully thriving, exciting, productive and profitable division. She reeducated patients who have been slipping by with prophys (when they truly needed more in-depth therapy) on the importance of root planing and scaling. Patients readily embrace her suggestions and consistently comment on how Tricia has “turned on the lights” about their care. We have a high compliance rate for scaling and root planing follow-ups and acceptance of recommended fluoride treatments. These same patients would have refused such suggestions in the past.
I referred a patient to a periodontist two years ago and we now alternate maintenance visits between the two offices. Just last week, the patient said Tricia “explained so much to me about my gum disease that I never understood.” Now that's AFTER being with a periodontist!
She is so strong in her knowledge of clenching, grinding, diet, and sleep apnea-related signs that she has truly been a lifesaver. A patient who has been with the practice for more than 20 years went to her physician for a sleep study based on Tricia's recommendation. She found out she has severe sleep apnea and now uses a CPAP. The patient was so thankful when she returned for her three month checkup.
I used to do all new patient exams to help prioritize perio and restorative treatment. Tricia's exams are so thorough I have turned these new patient encounters over to her (unless our phone interview indicates a true need for me to see the patient initially). This change has freed up my schedule immensely.
Speaking of schedules, where there were holes and availabilities for hygiene visits, Tricia is now booked out for the next three months! Definitely a good challenge! I am hiring another hygienist next month who understands Tricia will be her mentor.
Her communication skills are top notch, she can vary her approach according to how she reads a particular patient, and is sincere in her dialog. She also has participated in school education programs in her kids' schools.
When I come in to do my exam, her reports are concise and accurate. I used to come in and shoot the breeze with the patient, but I now save this for the end as Tricia's information grabs my attention. She keeps me on my toes, and I am thankful that she makes me a better dentist!