Steps to Getting Started
- Watch the training videos. Have everyone in the office do so.
- Print out 10 (or whatever) of the data collection forms.
- Print out 10 (or whatever) of the charts.
- Print out 10 (or whatever) of the patient information forms (optional)
- Get a ruler and red and blue pens for charting.
- Practice a couple of times, maybe on staff.
- When first new or existing patient comes in, use a narrative something like this: "Hi Linda, How are are you? Today we are adding a new service to your visit to monitor your overall gum health. It's called Dentime and what it does is compute your cleaning recall interval more accurately - down to the day - using a number called the periodontal health quotient. When we are done, we will show you your score with possible recommendations. We are using the system to chart any changes in your oral health over future visits, to make sure you are staying healthy and safe. Because periodontal disease is positively correlated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer's disease, it is very important that we record, chart and track your overall risk on a regular digital basis. Let's get started."
- Now you record the data for: number of teeth, visible tartar, mobility, pocket points and bleeding on scaling, on the data collection sheet.
- Then, proceed with the appointment. Usually, while the dentist or hygienist is doing the coronal polishing, the date can be taken back to a computer, where the office dashboard is loaded. You can also do the calculation right in front of the patient if you have a computer in the room.
- Once the PHQ is calculated, with the recall determined, the assistant or doctor plots and graphs the number on the patient's PHQ chart. If it is the first time for this, it will just be a single number on the y axis. Once the patient returns over time, their chart is updated and a line graph can be created. This is the KEY to showing patients what is going on and helping them stay healthy. Here are a few examples of this.
- The goal is to get patients below a PHQ of 10, which specifies a 6-month recall. But, if they are above 10, say 22, then, from the dashboard, a 4 or 3 month recall is recommended.
- Because the dashboard has been tested and fine-tuned over many years, and used for thousands of patients, it is very accurate. The benefit to the patient is an accurate, trackable, digitally-determined, objective recall interval recommendation and a rational basis for SRP and/or Arestin therapy. For the dental practice, the hygiene department gets almost twice as busy, due to patients coming more often, or electing other treatments, such as a gingivectomy, Arestin therapy and/or SRP.
Once the office does a few Dentime evaluations with charting, it will become second nature. The number one benefit for both the doctor and patient is objective management of the patient's oral health. Over the months, visits and years, the stability of the Dentime Digital Recall System becomes apparent. And, if the patient has insurance, a fee can be charged for this, so it is free to the patient, which they always like. :-)
After the hygiene appointment is finished, the recall interval is communicated to the front desk for scheduling. And the data collection sheet and chart are placed in the patient's folder for reuse at their next visit.