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The biggest ‘troubles’ of 2017: Top 10 Troubleshooters

Dec. 18, 2017
There was no end to the "troubles" of dental professionals, as the questions kept coming into Thursday Troubleshooter thorughout 2017. Here are the 10 that gained the most attention from DIQ readers.
Do YOU have a problem for Thursday Troubleshooter? Send it to [email protected] for the professionals to address.

It’s been a busy year for Thursday Troubleshooter. FRAUD. HIPAA. ORNERY PATIENTS. UNFAIR STAFF TREATMENT. CODING. And the big one … BED BUGS.

Questions from readers ran the gamut, but nearly everyone can identify with each other’s difficulties in daily dental practice. The experts who assist with the questions sent into DentistryIQ weighed in with their insights regarding how to approach uncomfortable situations and touchy topics.

In case you missed them, or you just want to review some of the dilemmas, here are the 10 Troubleshooters from 2017 that received the most attention from readers. Click on the links or the photos to read the entire Troubleshooter. Got concerns of your own? Send them to [email protected], who will forward them to the experts for answers.


1. This dental professional was “freaked out” when she saw nearly 20 bed bugs crawling on the patient with whom she was assisting. How did the staff handle this uncomfortable situation? Find out what infection control expert Noel Kelsch, RDHAP, advised.


2. After 15 years with the practice, this dental professional is concerned the practice might be on the verge of fraud with the misuse of codes 4910 and 1110. What did coding expert Patti DiGangi tell her to do?


3. Why do the dental hygienists in this office have to clock out when the assistants do not? Is this even legal? Here’s what human resources expert Kurt Tullar had to say.


4. This dentist will not back up his staff’s recommendations regarding the need for x-rays on patients, and the team is becoming very concerned about their patients’ health. Find out what Amber Auger, RDH, advised.


5. This state’s coding regulations has this dental hygienist concerned that her coding practices might be unethical. What guidance did Patti DiGangi, RDH, offer for her predicament?


6. This RDH posted photos of a patient taken while the patient was under sedation, and without the patient’s consent, on the RDH’s Facebook page. He then added unflattering comments. Is this a HIPAA violation? See what compliance/risk management strategist Linda Harvey advised.


7. Cough. Sneeze. Fever. Will “proper” gloves and masks prevent staff members from becoming ill after they treat sick patients? The office manager seems to think so. What did Linda Drevenstedt have to say about the situation?


8. Yikes! These dental patients are “too busy and stressed” to brush! How can this hygienist motivate them to perform this basic hygiene activity? Kimberly Morgan, RDH, shared some ideas.


9 and 10. The final two Troubleshooters in the Top 10 hit parade involve new dental code D4346. Readers expressed their confusion and disappointment in the new code. Patti DiGangi, RDH, was able to help clear the air. Read about the confusion here, and the disappointment here.


Don't be shy! If YOU have a tough issue in your dental office that you would like addressed, send it to [email protected] for the experts to answer. Remember, you'll be helping others who share the same issue. Responses will come from various dental consultants, as well as other experts in the areas of human resources, coding, front office management, and more. These folks will assist dental professionals with their various issues on DentistryIQ because they're very familiar with the tough challenges day-to-day practice can bring. All inquiries will be answered anonymously each Thursday here on DIQ.

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