Varnish Application Tips

Application TIP: As an assistant I was taught to bend the tip of any applicator brush before I put any material on it and gave it to the dentist. Naturally, when I became a dental hygienist this was a habit that I didn't even realize I had until I saw students NOT doing it. Trust me when I say it will make your life a whole lot easier if you give the applicator tip a little bend. Check out the video below to see for yourself.  

Patient Acceptance TIP: It seems like every time a consultant comes around they are pressuring us to sell sell sell varnish. Let me tell you that I really hate that word in the medical field! It should be unethical to even say it. I like to think of it as informing the patient they have the option to receive the varnish because they are at high risk for caries, have recession, have dry mouth, or sensitivity etc.  Always inform them of the custom reason they would benefit from a fluoride varnish treatment. Also, if you truly feel that they need it at each check up then ask them if they would like to receive it at each maintenance care appointment.   Here is an example:

Tammy, I noticed today you have several areas of recession. This tooth structure is less mineralized than enamel and is very prone to cavities. To prevent this from happening I would recommend a fluoride varnish treatment each time you come in for your preventive care appointments. It will be an additional $20 at each visit but will help prevent cavities. Would you like me to place it at each appointment for you?  

Post Op TIP: Varnish will clog your suction lines. Trust me when I say it WILL happen to you.  So, it is not recommended that the patient use the suction after use. I will give my patient a cup to expectorate into after placement if needed (then I throw it away) or if you have a sink near by have them clean up there.  

Charges TIP: Use D1206 for billing. I have seen one office who just gives it to everyone at no charge, all they way up to a $50 fee. Just make sure you code for what you do no matter if you charge or not. How much do you charge for varnish?