Hygiene Offices: Brilliant or Just a Fad?

One dental trend we’ve noticed more of lately: hygiene offices.

If you’re not familiar, a hygiene office is a dental practice that, well, only does hygiene appointments. There may be a dentist involved, but the practice owner is often a hygienist — and so the practice focuses entirely on treatments that are within a hygienist’s scope of practice.

This kind of practice isn’t legal in every state, but is becoming an option for entrepreneurial hygienists in those where it is.

Big picture, we like this idea a lot. After all, the whole point of a hygiene office is to make cleanings as accessible as possible. 

You’ll see them popping up in places like malls or shopping centers. Someone can stop in, get a quick cleaning, and then be on about their day with minimal friction.

Equally important, we love seeing new business opportunities for talented dental professionals who want to take the next step in their careers.

However, we do wonder how hygiene offices will fit in with the rest of the industry. 

Will they develop referral relationships with full-service dental practices to handle any issues that come up during an exam? Will they begin to employ more dentists themselves — eventually becoming dental groups or DSOs in their own right?

Or will patients get frustrated with the limited services available at a hygiene office and choose to stick with traditional dentists for even their routine care?

We don’t know. But we’re certainly curious to find out.

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