I often compare the experience of patients coming in to our office and being told that they need to have work done to the experience of us taking our car in to be serviced and they tell us that we need new brakes.
Any time that we're planning to work on multiple teeth on a patient, it's important to start with a complete exam and plan our treatment.
So one of the first things that is helpful is, of course, we want to check the point of initial contact in the mouth when we do our complete exam. And you might even want to go as far as, when you mark your point of initial contact with articulating paper to take an intraoral photo of it. And then when you have mounted your models, you want to go back to your models and the point of initial contact on the models should match the point of initial contact in the mouth.
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.
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When I started my Dawson training and my Dawson journey when I started going through the curriculum, I was actually an associate in a group practice. So I wanted to give you a couple of tips about how you can go back to your practice, a non-Dawson practice where you are an associate, and begin to implement some of the things that you are learning at The Academy.
Some of you already have the T-Scan in your practice from Tekscan. It's a computerized bite sensor that you can use in initial exams to show patients some of their malocclusion. And one of my favorite uses in our practice is to use it as part of our equilibration.
So one of the things that I know that a lot of you are doing as good, complete dentists is actually doing afull contour wax-up, especially when we're doing an anterior case, a full arch reconstruction, or a full mouth reconstruction.
Something that's been very useful to us in helping to communicate with the patient and also be able to preview our results, is when we order the wax-up from the lab, we'll have the ceramist send us a vinyl impression of the wax-up.
One of the things that Dr. Dawson has taught us over the years is that part of being a complete dentist is really being a physician of the masticatory system.
One of the simple tips that I want to share with you today is something that we do for marketing, and it's just a simple thank you note to new patients. We've had some little thank you cards printed with our logo on the front. And we have a nice message in there that just thanks them for coming into the office, and tells them how much we're looking forward to taking care of them, and that we appreciate the trust that they've placed in us to take care of them.
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How do you avoid mistakes during dental treatment planning? It's not a new question, but it is one that is asked often.
A simple way to answer this question in one word is: checklists! If you have attended any of The Dawson Academy courses in the last 4 years, then you have likely been introduced to the book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Dr. Atul Gawande. Dr. Gawande practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston. He is also a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. In his book, Dr. Gawande writes about the measurable differences in success rates, cost savings, etc. that can be attained by using a simple checklist. He relays incredible accounts from different areas like central line infections in ICU’s to the complex engineering of skyscrapers that have thrived from using this technique.
In this complimentary whitepaper, Faculty Member, Dr. Angie Hedlund, outlines the following:
Why you need checklists
How to use checklists to improve treatment planning
3 key factors that help avoid mistakes during the treatment planning process
The importance of taking appropriate records
To download this whitepaper, click here.