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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

Nov 27, 2019

Continuing its deep dive into the business side of dentistry, this week A Tale of Two Hygienists is examining the nitty gritty of office budgets and what makes for a healthy working relationship between a dentist and their hygienists. 

Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, RDH, has been working in the dental industry since 1972. She actually started her career not as a hygienist but as a dental office manager. Now, she takes a three-pronged business: writing, speaking and consulting. Her latest book is Real World Dental Hygiene: Where the Rubber Cup Meets the Road

In this episode, Dianne discusses why she made the shift from office management to hygiene, examines which expenses take the biggest chunk out of a dental office’s budget, and explores some of the legal issues surrounding downtime.





Interview starts: 


- How a very unexpected absence started Dianne on the path from working the front desk of her office to becoming a hygienist.


- The visit from a practice management consultant that inspired Dianne to go back to school and continue her education.


- What Dianne hopes readers will get out of her latest book.


- Why a dental office’s primary dentist has an impact on how much hygienists do or do not gravitate toward the business side of their field.


- The reason dental supplies eat so much into an office’s overhead.


- Taking a close look at which benchmarks a successful dental practice should meet.


- Why everyone suffers if dentists keep their hygiene fees low.


- Dianne’s strategy for minimizing downtime, and why she’d like to see a punch-clock case go to court.


- Discussing hygienists owning percentages of their dental office—plus the one office that’s actually wholly owned by hygienists.


- Dianne’s parting advice to listeners emphasizing the sheer amount of support a well-trained hygienist can bring to an office.





“That day I was baptized by fire into chairside assisting.”


“The numbers tell a story.”


“If a practice is financially healthy, then the doctor can better afford to take care of the people who work there.”


“75% of all restorative needs are discovered in hygiene visits.”


“Doctor should not minimize the importance of hygiene procedures and keep those fees low when they’re raising up everything else. It’s just not fair and it’s not right.”


“The more money that comes in, the better the doctor can take care of the people who work there.”


“Many, many hygienists do not know what their salary-to-production ratio is.”


“Make yourself so valuable to this doctor that he can’t imagine his world without you in it.”



Watterson Speaking and Consulting, LLC -


Real World Dental Hygiene -



Thank you to Paradise Dental Technologies aka PDT for providing sponsorship for this episode!


Be sure to thank the sponsor for this episode by heading over to and picking up a new instrument or telling them thank you in person at one of the conferences!


THIS EPISODE COUNTS FOR CE! - but read the disclaimer below as it might not count for your state.

Go here to take the test and get your CE credit!


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