Dentists know the value of creating a good dental treatment plan for their patients. They are an important part of the record keeping that must be kept for each patient. A dental treatment plan could also play a key role in any legal inquiries years after the services were rendered. As a part of your management software, a dental treatment plan should offer you the ability to keep detailed notes of the problems, diagnoses, and proposed treatments for a patient. Your dental software should also provide you with reminders of patients with a current dental treatment plan that need to have appointments scheduled.
The overall health of patients is sometimes directly impacted by a good dental treatment plan. I’m reminded of story that a dentist told me a while back of a new patient to his practice. It seems that the patient was a recently retired senior who would never visit a dentist unless he was in pain. However, what spurred on the visit wasn’t any discomfort that he may be having – but an article that he had read on the ABC news website. The article was on ways that poor dental care can make someone sick and the following paragraph really hit home.
“Some research suggests there may be a tie between poor oral health and an increased risk of dementia. One study that followed 118 nuns between the ages of 75 and 98 found that those with the fewest teeth were most likely to suffer dementia. Experts think oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw or through the bloodstream, and may contribute to the type of plaque that’s been linked to Alzheimer”
After the initial exam, the dentist sat down with the patient to review his findings. He asked the patient why he only ever saw a dentist when something was wrong. It seems that because of his crooked teeth the patient was never happy about his smile. When he was younger his parents couldn’t afford to fix them, so the patient figured as long as he brushed his teeth, the only need he would have for a dentist was if something was wrong.
The dentist seized on the opportunity to not only allay the patient’s fear but inspire the patient to a smile that he had always wanted. He created a general dental treatment plan to bring the patient’s oral health back to where it should be. He then also created a separate Orthodontic and Periodontal dental treatment plan. When he went over the plans with the patient, the patient was so happy and encouraged that he followed every bit of advice that the dentist and his hygienists offered to improve his dental health. So much so, that on subsequent appointments the patient’s overall condition was improving faster than expected.
The dentist told me the ease with which his software allowed him to keep track and update the patient’s progress for each dental treatment plan was amazing. He said trying to juggle all three simultaneously on paper would have been much more difficult, especially when arranging to see specialists and keeping track of their results.
How A Dental Treatment Plan Can Help Achieve Overall Health Goals
The ability to create and manage a dental treatment plan is a very important feature in today’s dental software packages. Paperless planning the patients’ objectives of long-term treatments is not only convenient but also is easy to follow through completion. In addition, being able to share each dental treatment plan with all the associated specialists makes the health goals of each patient much easier to reach.