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Implementing a Complete Exam Out of a Hygiene Visit

So one of the problems that I face in my practice is how do I talk about all these things, the signs of instability and the requirements of a stable occlusion, in a hygiene visit? And I used to try. And I would watch my patient's eyes kind of glaze over and I was feeling the pressure from my hygienist. She's like, "Hey, hurry up. We've got to stay on time."

And I realized I have to do something different here because they weren't accepting to come back to do their bite analysis or their smile analysis. Most people would get up there and be like, "No, I'll just see you again for the next hygiene."


Co-Diagnose Together

So I knew I had to do something. And so I started implementing just talking briefly about what I was seeing in their mouth and then scheduling them back for a one-hour exam where we would do the full, complete exam that we learn in the records and examination course, and I just focus on that. I take a few photos, show them the photos and go through the exam. When I implemented the one hour exam, my patients began to understand and we co-diagnosed together and they saw the problem just like we, as the dentists, get to see the problem and they were able to understand. But doing that in a five-minute hygiene check was way too stressful, too many complications.

Be an Educator

And so to get them back and actually implement that hour exam and spend more time with the patient, just as The Dawson Academy recommends, is a great way to help be an educator. And that's what we all are. As doctors, we're educators. We're teachers. And our job is to do our very best for our patients, to help them understand everything from caries to periodontal disease and occlusal disease - and occlusal disease just is something that's less understood to them.

So taking this time, I feel that they feel that I appreciate them and that I am really looking out for their well-being by spending extra time with them. I hope implementing this one-hour exam will really help your patients achieve great oral health.

To learn more about the exam and records process that allows for accurate and full diagnoses and the information necessary to predictably treatment plan, begin with Functional Occlusion - From TMJ to Smile Design

5 Diagnostic Components in Dentistry for Predictable Success

Dr. Landon Blatter received his undergraduate degree from BYU and received his dental degree in 2004 from Harvard Dental School. As Founder and CEO of Rocky Mountain Dental Partners (RMDP), a premier private dental group office, Dr. Blatter has built a thriving practice based on his vision of combining personal attention, patient service and the use of advanced dental technology, ultimately empowering his dentists to provide the best dentistry care available. Listed as 5280’s Top Dentist 3 years in a row, Dr. Blatter has also received recognition for his ongoing adoption and use of dental technology, including receiving the Perry and Young Technological Pioneer Award. As a strong believer in continuing education, Dr. Blatter has continued his interest in comprehensive dentistry with The Dawson Academy, where he is currently Associate Faculty and leads the Denver Dawson Study Club to further the education of local dentists. Dr. Blatter is also an active member of the American Dental Association, the Colorado Dental Association, the Metro Denver Dental Society, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. Based in Denver, CO, Dr. Blatter enjoys spending time with his four children, practicing archery, playing baseball and enjoying the great outdoors with all Colorado has to offer.