August 7, 2020
The Rolling Stones told us, “You can’t always get what you want.” In dentistry, I think we can all relate to not always getting what we want. New products are released at such a fast pace there’s no way we can get every exciting new toy on the convention hall floor. Just when you buy the newest laser on the market a newer shiner one emerges onto the scene. But as the Stones go on to say, “if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need”. But oftentimes Dental Hygienists can’t get what they need because we lack the buying power to purchase the items necessary to treat our patients.
This is where you wonder why on Earth a Dental Hygienist needs to buy any dental supplies on their own. Doesn’t their office provide what they need? There are many reasons a Hygienist needs or wants to purchase products on their own.
- Works in an Independent/ Remote/Expanded Functions capacity
- Many states are opening up opportunities for Hygienists to operate outside the 4 walls of the operatory.
- Public Health Screenings
- Even basic PPE needs to be purchased through a supplier
- Needs specific supplies the office isn’t willing to provide
- Hygienists take their careers seriously. Many RDHs have certain equipment that helps them ergonomically so they can prolong their career. Or there are supplies that help them provide the care they want to give.
- Provides Temporary or Fill in work
- In today’s gig economy moving from office to office, you never know what you are going to find in your temporary operatory. Many Hygienists will bring their own equipment, supply box, and even their own clinician chair to ensure a safe and successful day.
In one of last month’s blog, I talked about Children’s Dental Health Month. When I go into a classroom filled with preschoolers and kindergartners I want to make sure they all go home with their very own brand new toothbrush to reinforce all we have just talked about. In the past when I have needed toothbrushes I have had to go through my office and have them place the order for me, have it shipped to the office with our other supplies, and reimburse them. Since we moved recently I don’t have an office of my own and have been temping in my community. While I could have probably reached out to one of those offices and had them order for me, it would be far easier to just place the order myself and have it shipped to my house like every Amazon package that ends up on my doorstep.
Well, thanks to Safco for allowing dental hygienists to set up their own accounts and manage their own dental product needs. While there are guidelines on what hygienists are able to order, I found the list more than met the needs of a hygienist. We can order PPE, instruments, ultrasonic/piezo tips and scalers, fluoride varnish, sealant material, prophy paste and handpieces, home care aids and more. Kelly Divito, RDH had this to say about Safco:
“I like that Safco views us as clients and opens opportunities for direct buying. The companies that sell directly to dentists only are missing a large market of hygienists, especially those that work on an as-needed basis, or in multiple offices who would like to take their own instruments and supplies to best serve their patients and maintain their ergonomics. I love the fact that I can easily shop for and purchase from Safco, who values me as a provider.”
It makes economic “cents” to allow purchasing power to those in the dental field that need it most and are willing to invest in themselves and provide for their patients. I know it to be true first hand. I was so pleased to easily order, purchase, and receive my toothbrushes on my doorstep. It alleviated the need to travel to a dental office to pick up the box and figure out how much I owed them– which can be an inconvenience for both the office staff and the Hygienist.
I was absolutely THRILLED when the Safco box arrived, how could I not be? That little smiley box is contagious. That happy face that immediately put a smile on my face.
When I opened the box I was in for yet another treat-literally! Each order comes with a little bag of candy just to say thanks and it adds a personal touch. While we as dental professionals can take issue with the sugar, at least we know to brush and floss afterward. I have to admit that I still have my smiley face box in my office smiling at me. I feel a little like Tom Hanks in Castaway, with his pal Wilson. I have yet to name my box, but I have a feeling he will have many friends arrive in the future as the practice of Dental Hygiene is expanding outside the traditional operatory. I’m grateful to know that Safco values Dental Hygienists as healthcare professionals and recognizes our buying power.
[/ultimate_heading][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#888888″ sub_heading_color=”#333333″ alignment=”left” main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:12px;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]
Amanda Hill, RDH, BS has been in the dental industry for over 30 years, she earned her B.S. in Dental Hygiene at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and has had the opportunity to experience dentistry around the world. Amanda has a love for learning and is obsessed with continuing education in all its many forms. Amanda practices part time clinically and is an industry educator for the nation’s largest dental job board, DentalPost.net. Amanda is a proud Navy spouse and mom of 3.