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"Operatory Instrument Management Program Story" By Kathleen Bokrossy, RDH

I recently met a dental hygienist at a convention who showed great interest in the D-Sharp OIM program (Operatory Instrument Management) program.  She wanted to take the information back to her employer and see if she could ‘convince’ him to join.

The OIM Program is an instrument management program that supplies your operatory with new instruments every 4 months (if it is a full time op or an op that shares instruments between hygienists) or 6 months (if it is a part time op or an op that only has one hygienist).

 She understood all the benefits:

  • Puts systems in place; organizes your instruments; no handles to dispose of; makes sure that all the hygienists in your practice are using sharp instruments that are properly shaped…not sickle-ized curettes!
  • Ensures that you are providing the best care by using optimal instruments
  • Ergonomics (using dull instruments causes Repetitive Strain Injuries and will shorten your life span of your career
  • Saves money
  • Clients notice the difference when dull instruments are used.  They will complain and tell the receptionist that they don’t want that hygienist again…or they may leave the practice altogether!  Happy clients refer!  Angry clients will spread that news faster than if they were happy!

So a couple of weeks passed and I contacted the hygienist to see how she was doing and if she needed any information from me to give to the dentist.  She told me that her employer dismissed the program and that her and her husband had decided that her health is more important so she was going to get on the program and pay herself.  This was music to my ears.  I have been in the dental instrument business since I founded D-Sharp Dental back in 1998.  I am always looking at ways to help hygienists bring instruments into their practice without spending a fortune.  The more economical the instruments are, the more frequently you can replace them, the better it is for the hygienist and most importantly the client!  I have heard many hygienists complain too many times about their employers or their dentists not buying them instruments.  Or when they do the instruments are too far gone.  They complain how sore they are, how they can’t recognize the tips any longer, how they can’t get a sharp cutting edge, etc.  I know from personal experience that when dull instruments are used on you, it HURTS!!  When the experience is painful, clients will not come back to you.  Or they may come back less or … they may leave the practice altogether!  So I strongly believe in the hygienists taking ownership of their own instruments if they have to.  I spoke with one hygienist who said her employer has never bought instruments for her since she started working there.  I asked her how long that was.  She said 8 years!!  Why wait for your employer?   You can get on the program with one set even for $19.99 a month or if you have handles that can be re-tipped, you can always re-tip them for $11.98.   And trust me, you can’t tell the difference between re-tipped and new.  Well with our company anyhow.  I know of other re-tipping companies who use tips that are of lesser quality, and the tips are unrecognizable.  We re-tip your handles with the same tips that we use on our new instruments. They are of high quality, 440A North American stainless steel and are specially treated to keep a sharp cutting edge.  We need to stop blaming others for our discomfort or happiness and take responsibility for our own actions.  If you need to buy your own instruments, then I encourage you to do it.  Why wreck every day for you and the appointment for your client.  Get EMPOWERED!  Take control of your own destiny!  Your own future!  Get back to enjoying your day with new instruments that bite into the calculus versus an instrument that glides over.  Be gentle with your clients.  Sharp instruments mean you are going to use a lighter more controlled stroke, which means less discomfort for your clients during and after treatment and much better for your body!

This particular hygienist also said she was tired of waiting for permission.  She feels that as a dental hygienist she is always waiting for permission.  Permission from the dentist, permission from the client, permission from the insurance companies, etc.  She said this is something that she can take control of that will help her extend the life of her career and help her with overall daily comfort.  She felt so empowered.  She made me so proud that I just had to share this!


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