Back in general practice I had a renewed confidence. What had i been doing all those years? I took the GBT protocol and added my own flare to each stage. Every single patient that walked through my door had GBT and the beneﬁts of plus powder explained to them. I no longer spoke of disease but of prevention. I was empowered and motivated and so too were my patients.
I’d made contact with a practice that had been recently purchased by a young and enthusiastic dentist who was looking for someone to revitalise their failing hygiene department where patients were still being subject to quadrant hand scaling and all that the long appointments, pain and discomfort brought. At that time his hygiene books consisted of one Tuesday afternoon a week and even they couldn’t be ﬁlled. It was losing money and the struggle was very real.
I pitched the GBT concept to the new principle who had visions of creating a slick, preventative, prophylaxis practice. He had not only vision but thankfully he also had courage. Nevertheless it took a great leap pf faith for him to invest in me and invest in the airflow equipment particularly given the loss of profit he’d experienced with his previous hygienist and the scepticism that now surrounded the whole department.
Within 12 weeks we’d increased from one poorly filled afternoon a week to 2 full days and by 6 months we were at fully hygiene surgery capacity of 3 days with an average appointment waiting time of 8 weeks. Prices had doubled, appointment times had been slashed and turnover had trebled. Demand was so high we couldn’t keep up. The whole team was driving the prevention message and news was spreading fast. We advertised wherever we could and ran free airflow promo days based around GBT to raise money for charity and awareness for us. Posters were put up all over town and our first “Drop in For A Free Airflow’ day was a huge success with local businesses donating raffle prizes and local media broadcasting from our waiting room. We had red & white ﬂags and balloons lining our windows and pathways and patients literally queued down the street for their turn.
I airflowed 34 new patients that day free of charge. That was 34 people who otherwise might not have experienced the pain free comfort and results that airflow offered. One year on and of those 34 patients, 23 are now regular paying patients. Who knows how much other business was generated from the ripple effect of people talking about our ethos and our pain free treatments.
It didn’t stop inside the surgery for me. I was desperate to share my knowledge and unleash GBT’s potential to other hygienists in the UK. I took to social media and rapidly made a name for myself on the hygiene forum as the go-to airflow guru. Requests to run courses came thick and fast and I travelled the length & breath of the country spreading the word either practicing GBT, teaching GBT or dreaming about GBT!
In November 2017 I was nominated for Best Hygienist at the National Industry Awards and to my utter shock and amazement I won. I was humbled and honoured but yet again felt somewhat fraudulent. I knew my success was largely attributable to the GBT model that had been handed down me. Nevertheless I accepted with pride and dedicated my award to the incredible individuals that have developed airflow into the game changer that it is today.
Life in general practice in the UK for many hygienists is gruelling. Expectations from patients, from bosses and from our governing bodies are high, standards are unprecedented, hours are long and appointment times are short. 20 Minute appointments are not uncommon in the UK and packing in assessment, motivation, full mouth scaling, polishing and homeware is back breaking for the most experiences and bordering on unachievable for the majority. The results being low morale, poorly motivated and disengaged hygienists and poorly managed mouths. It doesn’t need to be this way. GBT has transformed my clinical practice entirely and it can change others too. I’d go as far as to say i’m unrecognisable from the hygienist i was 5 years ago. My appointments are slick, measured, controlled and most importantly complete. Treatment is carried out without compromise and to the highest standard. Most importantly my patients feel empowered, motivated and are my greatest GBT ambassadors. I feel in control, I feel inspired and just for EMS… ‘I feel good!’
In my opinion there’s a new revolution taking place. The rise of airflow & GBT. It will take time. We don’t know what we don’t know and I for one intend to put that right. My passion lies in sharing knowledge, skill and experience and giving one another that step up to being the best version of a hygienist that hey can be, I speak to everyone i can. On social media, at conferences, at hygiene meetings, on SDA courses and in my surgery. I invite hygienists into my surgery free of charge to watch and observe and ultimately grow and I go into their practices to observe and help where i can. It’s become a vocation of mine and i’m almost sure i wont stop before every single hygienist in the UK has heard of GBT and I have founded the very first GBT practice in the UK.
Then I’ll take on America! Just you watch me…
Faye Donald. UK SDA trainer.