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Transforming Patient Treatment: The Impact of Motivational Interviewing in Dental Hygiene


 Discover the transformative power of motivational interviewing in dental care, as shared by a dedicated dental hygienist. Learn how this approach enhances patient-centered care, empowers patients, and fosters lasting behavioral changes for better oral health outcomes.
Discover the transformative power of motivational interviewing in dental care, as shared by a dedicated dental hygienist.

Hygienists like me share a common goal: striving for excellence in our clinical work. We are dedicated to providing top-notch patient care, always seeking ways to enhance our skills and ensure results. However, what happens when our relentless pursuit of perfection causes us to overlook the needs and desires of those we care for?


Reflecting on my journey over the ten years, I've realized how my focus on clinical perfection sometimes overshadowed the importance of patient-centered care. In the past, I would lose sleep over imperfections, such as a stain left on a patient's teeth. It wasn't until I embraced motivational interviewing (MI) principles that my approach to patient care shifted.


Motivational interviewing goes beyond being a term; it is a valuable tool that empowers healthcare providers and patients. By transitioning from being authoritative to adopting a coaching style, I now customize my oral hygiene instructions based on each individual's needs. No longer do I resort to pressuring patients into flossing compliance through shame tactics. Instead, I engage them in conversations about their health routines and preferences.


In my experience, I've found that focusing on educating and empowering patients has become a priority over striving for clinical perfection. Of obsessing over removing every stain, I now dedicate that time to teaching patients the right brushing techniques and suggesting customized oral hygiene products. Ultimately, our aim is not just to cure diseases but to prevent them altogether.


I encourage my hygienists to explore the principles of motivational interviewing and integrate them into their work. By involving patients in conversations and respecting their choices, we can instill enthusiasm for health and encourage lasting changes in behavior.


It all begins with a question; "Would you like some tips for home care?" We can establish trust and cooperation by recognizing and honoring the patient's readiness to receive advice. Let's together embrace an approach to care—one that places the patient at the heart of the journey towards excellent oral health.


Check out some of my educational videos and my favorite products for improved oral health


More videos on my website The Roaming Dental Hygienist


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