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Do You Know What’s In Your Patient Charts?

By Planet DDS
November 11, 2020

How One Practice Was Surprised by Their Amount of Unscheduled Treatment

By Dr. Greg Grillo

You’re an exceptional dentist who focuses on doing the right thing for every patient. When you recommend a crown on a cracked tooth with an old alloy, you’re offering quality care. You know restoring the tooth now decreases the risk of a root canal or extraction by 95%.

But your patient doesn’t understand the complications that develop from untreated dental problems. Maybe they don’t feel any pain now, and they just paid tuition for their daughter’s dance school. The “problem” doesn’t carry enough perceived value, and you only have a few minutes to present a case. Before long, your patient jumps back into a busy life, and your recommendation slides into the abyss.

As days turn into months, the treatment you’ve diligently recommended piles up. And it continues to pile up, like a vein of gold. But all those ADA codes sit until you find a way to bring them to the surface and build value for the patient.

Do you know how much treatment rests in your charts? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Most practices don’t have a clue. Furthermore, they don’t know how to convert 10% of it into finished healthcare.

Every practice management software program has a way to gather insights into unscheduled treatment. For example, Curve Dental’s Playbook Dashboard feature instantly produces a bar graph showing the potential value of treatment plans in your patient records.

But even if you run the report, what do you do next?

Sitting On a Gold Mine

One of our clients, Dr. Y., estimated he’d find thousands of dollars in current treatment plans. However, he was shocked when he discovered the actual dollar amount in unscheduled treatment (click on the poll to guess how much he found).

Dr. Y has struggled with his schedule the past few months, and he’s not alone. The American Dental Association reports that practices are averaging 75% of their pre-COVID19 patient volume. Although some of that is by design, many practices would like to see more on their schedule.

While his anxiety currently runs slightly higher than average, there’s enough diagnosed treatment in his charts to fill the next seven months.

We know some patients will never complete their treatment. But we also know that some of it just needs nurturing, and it will end up on your schedule. If Dr. Y. sets a target of only 20% conversion, he would be running for the next six weeks without seeing a single new patient.

Take Action Today and Fill Your Schedule

A treatment plan doesn’t get better with age. The longer it sits, the more likely it becomes that it won’t ever get completed. Take steps to bring unscheduled treatment gold to the surface starting today. Here’s an interesting exercise that may leave you speechless:

  1. Guess the value of unscheduled treatment in your practice.
  2. Run a report in your Practice Management Software for the value of unscheduled treatment. Legwork Treatment Opportunities lets you see this number right on your dashboard.
  3. If you’re within 10% of your estimate, buy yourself an ice cream. If you’re not, don’t buy ice cream until step 4.
  4. Contact Legwork to discover how you can start tapping into the gold mine you’re sitting on. Whether it’s $50,000 or $500,000, Legwork can help. Legwork Treatment Opportunities builds on twenty years of experience serving the dental profession and helps fill your schedule automatically. Patient-centric workflows deliver content to your patients’ inboxes on services like Invisalign®, implants, preventive care, and much more.
  5. Connect Online Appointment Booking to your emails and convert even faster. Patients can schedule appointments with just one click anywhere, anytime.

New patients always have a place in a healthy practice, but your existing patients offer untapped potential. Plus, helping them get the care they need now saves them time, expense, and frustration when untreated problems advance. Find out how quickly Treatment Opportunities can help you start to activate more of the care your patients deserve!