- January 2014
- Posted By Debbie Ellard
- 0 Comments
Semantics For Continuing Care
Crystal clear semantics improves continuing care and are vital to the success of your re-care program. You have patients in your practice that are mostly edentulous and many times they cannot understand the need to be seen twice each year. For this example we’ll say they came in, had a complete upper denture made and a removable partial denture for the lower arch. Let’s assume they have four teeth on the bottom arch. It has been two years and they have not been back to your office for maintenance or continuing care. What do you say to this patient? There is a tendency to presume that oral health is not a priority for them. I mean, they do have only four teeth left. We would encourage you to presume the opposite. Maybe they just do not understand why they need to come back when they only have four teeth.
First, check with your clinical team to determine the protocol for both the partially edentulous and completely edentulous patient. A common practice is to see the completely edentulous patient once each year. If a patient has any teeth they wish to save, they should be seen twice each year.
“Hello Ms. Adams. This is Belinda from Dr. Jonets office. How are you today?
“Oh I’m fine.”
“I’m happy to hear that. Dr. Jonet asked me to give you a call because she is concerned that we have not seen you since <Time Frame>.
“Well, I only have four teeth and I think I can manage to brush them and keep them clean.”
“I’m sure that is absolutely the case. Those teeth are vital to being able to wear your lower partial. This also affects the upper denture. Dr. Jonet would like the opportunity to ensure that the dental care you received is maintained. At this visit a professional cleaning of both dentures, an x-ray to check the health of your bones and joints as well as a clinical exam to check your gum tissue for signs of oral cancer or infection are done. We just want to help you protect your investment.
“Well, I guess that is a good idea”