You’ve listened to countless lectures on how to do an examination. You’ve spent hours upon hours in dental school hearing about data collection and interpretation as well as treatment planning and case presentation. Subsequently, you’ve used many different techniques and employed a variety of protocols to improve the quality of your exams. All of this information and these skills were designed for one purpose – to get your patients to agree to treatment.
According to Dr. Matt Krieger, founder and CEO of Million Dollar PPO, there is an increasing focus in his practice on Same-Day Dentistry (SDD). Offering patients the option of complete treatment during a single hygiene appointment has several positive effects on a practice: it increases efficiency, it drives productivity, and it improves the patient experience.
All of these benefits can be realized in any practice if strategies for offering SDD are implemented. Not only do these strategies involve team training, practice management systems, office policy, and clinical changes, but they also require a shift in timing.
The standard protocol for a hygiene appointment has been that the dentist completes his or her examination at the end of the appointment after data collection and soft tissue therapy. While this approach seems to be the least stressful on the scheduler, it interferes with the opportunity for SDD. Simply moving the exam to the first third of a recare visit will increase the chances of capturing opportunity, says Dr. Krieger. “Patients are much more likely to say “yes” to SDD from the treatment room than from the consult room/front desk,” he explains. “Additionally, patients are more likely to stay for SDD if that treatment can be done within the regular appointment time. If they have to move, or stay late, they may not say ‘yes’, and a ‘yes’ today is more valuable than a ‘yes’ next week or next visit!” He recommends that schedules be reviewed at morning huddles morning huddles with an eye towards finding likely opportunities in the hygiene schedule for SDD. Then, he says, create a game plan so that everyone on the team is aware of where and when the doctor needs to do his or her exams. Once you begin to see the increase in productivity and the improved patient experience, it will become obvious that when you do your exams is a key element to practice efficiency. For more help implementing SDD, schedule a complimentary consultation call with Million Dollar PPO.