Should dental hygienists have their own dental dealer accounts or use the dentist’s?
This is a difficult question to answer, as some states have more relaxed regulations allowing dental hygienists to work independently and other states reimburse Medicare costs back to dental hygienists. These play a significant factor in whether it would be best for a dental hygienist to open their own accounts with a dental dealer/distributor. Opening an account means that they are ultimately responsible to pay for purchases.
In private offices, where dental hygienists are employees and, therefore, do not hold any direct responsibility of payments, the account should and can be listed under the name and practice of the dentist.
Going forward, there are more and more dental hygienists who are interested in holding their own accounts with dealers. They prefer to if they are purchasing their own equipment, products dispensed to their own patients, and any other items they may wish to purchase directly.
It depends on your career goals and how you would like to practice. If you have a career goal to practice independently, then definitely get your own dealer account. Become accustomed to the business side of dental care, gain awareness of how service levels of the dealer change your practice, and understand how expenses can affect treatment and profit. If you do not want to pursue an independent dental hygiene career and are happy with the dentist making the buying decisions with your input, of course, then use the dentist’s account. I would keep in mind that if you open your own dealer account you may be expected to pay your own bill. If that is the case, try to negotiate your compensation package with your dentist.