The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Implementing the Complete Exam in your practice


So I want to talk today about a few ways that you can introduce patients into the complete exam in your practice. In our practice, we primarily have three doors that the patients can enter through.

Some new patients call and they're ready to go, and we train the front-office person to talk with them about our complete exam process.

The patient on the phone may have some specific concerns that they want to see the doctor about, and so we schedule them initially, as their first visit, to come in and do the complete exam. And we actually have made a handout, a one-page handout that we'll put up on the screen for you shortly, that talks about all the things that we check at that complete exam.

And we liken it to a physical exam that they would have with their physician that helps them to kind of understand the amount of time that we're going to spend to go through this complete exam.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Explaining the Aspects of the Complete Exam to Patients

I explain the complete exam to the patient only after the preclinical interview. I interview the patient, ask them while they're here what they're looking for from me. And then from there, I simply tell them that I need to gather more information and records. And I explain to them all what we're doing. Checking their teeth out, periodontal health, but also we're going to look at their joints and their muscles.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Most Powerful Word in Pre-Clinical Exam

One thing that it took me a while to learn as a young dentist was how to handle a patient in a new patient exam. And specifically how to not answer questions, but to ask questions.

Someone a lot more intelligent than me once said, "The most powerful word in the English language has three letters, and that is, ask." So to ask questions, to ask for information.

There's a couple of questions I love asking in the pre-clinical exam.

Transcript continued below...

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