Always check what’s in front of you.
Even the best of us tend to have moments where we miss the most obvious things. First, make sure in your morning huddle that each RDH and Dentist Column is thoroughly checked for the correct procedures that are pending.
You may say to yourself, “that seems so simple.” But it’s easy to get in our routine, which can lead to missing or forgetting things that need to be checked. I have seen simple, everyday procedures missed before, such as FMX, PA, BWXs, or even fluoride for recall patients.
Also, when conducting the morning meeting, make sure the team checks to see that the whole family of each patient has appointments on the books (that way you can discuss booking unscheduled services while one of them is there in your office.)
Complete additional treatment on the day of.
If you have a patient in the chair with the Hygienist or Dentist, try to go ahead and find a way to do the sealants, fit the night guard, impress for the retainer, get started on the whitening, or complete that small occlusal filling. Being proactive about these few extra things can make a difference in your overall monthly production. 3-4 night guards a month can possibly be up to an extra $2,000. This boost could possibly bring in an additional $24,000 a year! Prices do vary per office, but these are all necessary services that our patients need to maintain a high level of dental health.
Know your schedule.
Make sure you always have a plan to fill that last-minute opening. Use dental software that can help you contact patients via text and email.
For instance, in Dentrix we have an ASAP list that we use if there’s a cancellation. This tool is an easy way of tracking patients who would like to come in sooner than they’re already scheduled. It can be as simple as calling the next patient to come in earlier to buy the time necessary to come up with another option to fill your opening.
Look immediately at the treatment needs of patients who are already in the chair with the Dentist. They may need a cleaning, and they’re already in your office! Any opening in the schedule is a loss of production dollars.
Talk to your patients about the tools to help maintain their dental health.
This could be an electronic toothbrush, Waterpik, whitening gel, special mouth rinses, etc. Have these products in stock so that they can be handed directly to your patient before they check out.
Always remember: NO ONE leaves the office without booking their next appointment.
Whether it be a cleaning or treatment, it all has to be scheduled. A patient walking out the door with no appointment on the books is a loss of production. If someone wants to maintain their health and doesn’t mind spending the money, then say no scheduling it and complete the service on the same day.
Meet the Author
Claudia became a dental assistant in 2000 and went on to train with renowned groups such as the Nash Institute and Levin Group. She achieved her FAADOM in 2014 and was a 2019 nominee for the AADOM Practice Administrator of the Year. Claudia works with Bell Family Dentistry and is a board member of the AADOM Triangle Area Chapter. She and her family live in Apex, North Carolina.