Balancing Hygiene Hours and Patient Demand? Part 3

We’re continuing in our six-part series about open hygiene time by taking a close look at how to stabilize your department. As in any practice, the number of hygiene hours must balance with patient need for hygiene care, each month.

To determine the number of hours that you supply, count the number of hours that you have hygienists scheduled for time with patients.

To determine your patients’ demand for hygiene hours, count the number of hours you already have patients scheduled for in the month, add the number of hours that you need for patients who are due during that month and not yet scheduled, and add 40% of your patient hours from the previous three months who are yet to be seen.

If supply and demand don’t balance, then it is best to either subtract or add in hygiene hours. This calculation should be completed every other month for two months out – for example in early October do your calculations for November and December. As we all know, hygiene demand can be cyclical. In keeping with practice growth, confirm that there are the available hours for new patient hygiene appointments that will allow openings for patients to receive on-time care for diagnosed periodontal intervals.

If you would like to learn more about calculating your supply and demand for hygiene hours, then feel free to contact me at

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