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Dawson Quick Tip:  Scheduling Basic Restorative Patients Successfully

When we think about scheduling for success, one of the things that we get asked about as a practice gets busier doing more complex things is where do you put the basic restorative: the DO filling that comes from hygiene or the occlusal that comes from hygiene? It can be problematical when you really start loving doing the more complex things, and I certainly went through that. After a while, what we started to figure out is we just needed to hold time for it.

When you're doing a specialty-type case in your green time, you tend to be working on one patient for a very long period of time. What I've told you in previous quick tips is we don't want to be getting up and doing other things. That means that the flow of that tends to be one doctor - one assistant. When we go into working with a basic restorative, we call holding sometime in the practice for what we call aerobic time. An aerobic time is a time when we're going to be working out of two, sometimes three rooms with multiple assistants and doing smaller procedures and dovetailing the schedule.

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What I found over the years is that I just had a heck of a time doing a big case and trying to mix in basic restorative. Therefore, focus on the more complex things in independent blocks, what we call green time. Then use a different color, maybe yellow, for your aerobic time, for your basic restorative. The team will then know that during those times, if they get the DO composite, or they get the occlusal composite, or they get the patient that calls that needs a denture adjustment, that you can start putting that in.

In my practice, it worked very well that I would start my day with some treatment planning and a consultation. Then I would move into my green time slot for about four hours, where I'd do more highly productive, cerebral things. Then the last three hours of the day, I would move into my aerobic time and work with multiple assistants, going a little bit faster. If you start thinking about your practice in this way and separating out, based on the time, skill, and judgment that you need, then I think you're going to have success. I like to just focus in the morning on the cerebral things that I really had to have laser vision on, and then the procedures that I can almost do in my sleep, we can kind of jumble them together and get them done rapidly, in a fun and efficient way.

For now, I hope that helps you in your quest to being the best that you can be in your practice, and until next time, this has been Quick Tips. I'm John Cranham, and good luck.

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John C. Cranham, DDS has an esthetic oriented practice in Chesapeake, Virginia. An honors graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in 1988, Dr. Cranham maintains a strong relationship with his alma mater as an Associate Clinical Professor. He is an internationally recognized speaker on the Esthetic Principles of Dentistry, Contemporary Occlusal Concepts, Treatment Planning, Restoration Selection, Digital Photography, Laboratory Communication, and Happiness and Fulfillment in dentistry. As a published author, Dr. Cranham has a strong commitment to developing sound educational programs that exceed the needs of today’s dental professional. He is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, The American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and The American Equilibration Society. Dr. Cranham is co-chair of Advanstar Dental Media’s CE Advisory Board (Advanstar is the publisher of Dental Products Report). Dr. Cranham is the Clinical Director of The Dawson Academy where he is involved with many of the lecture and hands-on courses within the curriculum. As an active educator, he has provided over 650 days of continuing education for dental professionals throughout the world.