By Rachel Teel Wall, RDH, BS
Chances are you're very aware of the need to accurately diagnose and treat periodontal disease. New updates in the systemic link are being published almost daily. And not just in our professional journals. If you've read Men's Health, Prevention or even Cooking Light lately, you've seen an article or two about the perio-systemic link. Determining where you stand with your current perio protocol is a good starting point for taking it to the next level.
This short quiz may just help you identify some areas that need your attention and will improve not only your patient care but your productivity as well. If the quiz reveals that you've fallen into a category that's not quite where you'd like to be and you want to learn more, scroll down to the end of the article for periodontal resources.
1. Do you have a clear periodontal therapy care plan in your office?
c. don't know
2. Are there clear standards in your office that outline when X-rays are taken and when periodontal probing is recorded?
c. don't know
3. Is your hygiene schedule booked out more than 4-6 weeks?
c. don't know
4. Are there times in your schedule reserved for periodontal therapy?
c. don't know
5. What percentage of the patients you see each day for routine preventive care have moderate to heaving bleeding during scaling?
6. How often do you complete a full 6-point periodontal charting on each adult patient?
a. once a year
b. only when they need it
c. once every 2 years
7. Do you currently use local chemotherapeutics, like Arestin, in your office?
Grade yourself with the scorecard at the bottom of this article.
Score = 17-20 points
Take action now! Chances are you are performing perio therapy but aren't identifying it and treatment planning appropriately. Attend a comprehensive perio course and meet with your team to develop and plan of action. Discuss what is holding you back from identifying periodontal disease and delivering non-surgical therapy. Do you feel that there is no time in your schedule for periodontal therapy? Are you so rushed in your hygiene appointments that you are just trying to keep your head above water? If so, take a step back and evaluate what you can do to make things better. Seek the help of a hygiene consultant.
Score = 21-54
Refresh and renew! Revisit your existing perio treatment protocol. Renew protocol to include latest therapy recommendations, local chemotherapeutics, ultrasonics. Evaluate the hygiene schedule. Is there time set aside for perio treatment? Attend a workshop, CE course or seek help from a consultant to fine tune and refresh your plan. Be sure all patients receive a comprehensive periodontal exam including recording 6 Point probing at least once a year. This may open your eyes to the periodontal disease hiding in your practice.
You are flying high! Great work! Continue to attend cutting edge CE courses to keep you on track. Read research and professional journals for updates on the standard of periodontal care. Evaluate your perio care plan each quarter to make sure it matches the current standards.
If the quiz reveals that you've fallen into a category that's not quite where you'd like to be and you want to learn more, then I'd like to invite you to attend an upcoming Free Tele-class "Stop Losing Thousands of Dollars in Undiagnosed and Untreated Perio." Go to www.InspiredHygiene.com/perio for details and to register for the class. All dental team members are welcome. On the call, we'll preview our High Performance Perio 6 Week Perio Webinar Training. Consider it an investment in the health of your practice and your patients.
Rachel Teel Wall, RDH, BS, is the owner of Inspired Hygiene, where she helps dentists tap into hygiene's profit potential. In addition to coaching, Rachel draws from her 18 years of experience as a hygienist and practice administrator to deliver to-the-point articles and speaking programs. She has spoken across the country including the AACD annual session and the popular The Profitable Dentist seminar in Destin, FL. Rachel's articles have been published in numerous industry journals including The Profitable Dentist, Dental Practice Report, Dentistry Today, RDH, and Modern Hygiene. Inspired Hygiene's programs include in-office coaching, a free weekly e-zine, the High Performance Hygiene Mastermind group and the new High Performance Perio webinar series. Inspired Hygiene is the preferred hygiene coaching group for the Productive Dentist Academy. To contact Rachel, email her at Rachel@InspiredHygiene.com or call 877-237-7230.