Setting the Pace in Periodontics for 2021

Uncategorized Jan 06, 2021

Periodontics has inevitably changed over the past few years.  The addition of the 2018 AAP classification system on staging and grading has significantly increased the amount of clinical documentation required to be collected and tracked.  Along with the classification changes, came the additional safety measures put into place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The result;  we now have more documentation to manage, store, retrieve, and articulate during patient consults and correspondence with colleagues.

Will all the information that is being collected, is your practice running as efficiently as you want for the coming new year?

A few things to consider.

Does your clinical documentation reflect the way in which you physically practice?  Are you practicing at the highest level of clinical care possible?  Does your clinical documentation reflect this invaluable information and level of detail that you are actively...

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Finding Gratefulness in 2020

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2020

2020 has been difficult for everyone, and some much more than others.

As we mourn, we will never forget those who we have lost.  With unyielding efforts, we will continue to honor those who we could not save through persistence patience and consistency in the fight against COVID-19.

For those of you who are healthy and able to provide safe patient care, we are grateful.  We are grateful for your health, diligence, and most of all, commitment to providing the best care for your patients and keeping your communities healthy and safe.

With the COVID-19 safety measures in place, practices are busier now more than ever.  Most practices are grateful to be able to continue to serve their communities, however, the demands to keep up have exponentially increased.  There is a newfound need to be more flexible and agile in our approach to patient care. 

When practices are running efficiently it is easier to not only keep up but to also provide an improved and safer...

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The Paper Practice vs. The Paperless Practice

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2020

Believe it or not, there are practices using paper.  Some are “chartless” the others are “full retro” meaning, they are still using their original tried and true techniques which have seemingly worked for them for decades.

Most practices, including the ones using paper, claim to be running efficiently.  Some practices are clearly much more streamlined than others.  So, what is keeping some practices held hostage to the administrative ball and chain of paper, while other practices are successfully running their business with a click of a button?

The number one differentiating factor seems to be the fear of change. This phenomenon is validated by watching other practices struggle while implementing new technology, coupled with unfortunate experiences within their own practices.

If something has worked one way for many years, the risk to change feels substantial.  Ironically, the risk of “not” changing and adapting to new...

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Changes with the American Academy of Periodontology - Staging and Grading

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2020

The Periodontal Staging and Grading Classification system developed by the American Academy of Periodontology in 2017 introduced more detail to clinical documentation and the patient care process overall.

The staging and grading system enhanced the ability to diagnose and predict periodontal treatment outcomes; it has also introduced new functionality in how patient care is managed and communicated.

Most of the clinical data collected is the same, however, a few additional key components such as the stage and grade of the case have been added.  The new level of detail required creates a more thorough documentation process.

The 1999 Periodontal Classifications, were structured as broad categories only:

  1. Gingival Diseases:
    Dental plaque-induced gingival diseases
    Non-plaque induced gingival lesions
  2. Chronic Periodontitis
  3. Aggressive Periodontitis
  4. Periodontitis as a Manifestation of Systemic Diseases
  5. Necrotizing Periodontal Diseases
  6. Abscesses of the Periodontium
  7. Periodontitis...
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The Effects of Mental Health on Periodontal Care

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2020

Periodontists are now more than ever more concerned about the overall health of their patients.  Not only oral-systemic issues, but mental health issues are now the cause of increasing concern during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 4 people deal with mental health issues worldwide, and the numbers are increasing.

When patients are experiencing high levels of stress, the value of their personal oral care may decrease due to the priorities they may encounter in their daily lives.

For patients, the fear of having dental treatments was common before the pandemic.  Now as people are becoming more and more isolated, stressed, and afraid; their dental fear levels may increase.  Increased stress levels can play a significant factor in the success of the care we provide, and as we all know, the patient’s participation is paramount in the success level of the outcome of their treatment.

To be effective in helping...

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Accurate Clinical Records Have Increased Staff Responsibility During Covid-19

clinical correspondence Aug 13, 2020

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to ensure you are keeping complete, effective, and accurate patient records. 

Not only is it your responsibility to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of your patients is being met, but it is also important to remember that as a community we want to do what is best for the welfare of all our patients to the very best of our abilities.

While it is becoming more and more difficult to provide optimal patient care within the usual time constraints as well as meet and exceed both existing and new cumulative requirements.

CDC Covid19 mandates in the Dental community 

As we are discovering with the newly added safety processes and procedures added to combat Covid-19, there is ever more responsibility resulting in even more effort going into the daily functionality of the care in which we provide. 

The necessity to learn about all the new processes and procedures in such a short period of time has overloaded the capacity of most dental...

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The concerns of returning to work during Covid-19

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2020

Periodontists, along with everyone in the medical field are facing additional challenges as they move forward.   How do we strategically balance between the safety of our patients, the welfare of your staff, and the necessity of getting back to work with the complications created by Covid-19?  Like everyone else, Periodontists have been patiently waiting for it to become safe again to provide long overdue and necessary services to the community.

The fundamental approach is of course to provide the best care possible for our patients due to the demands of the myriad of new safety measures caused by Covid-19.   What is not debatable, are the requirements that exist and required to be followed.  

What is often overlooked is the fact that practice owners are expected to produce and provide an appropriate level of the new state of the art “Covid-ified”* measures, which have turned out to be extremely costly and time-consuming to implement.  Not...

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The Difference Between a ā€œDental Chartā€ and a ā€œPeriodontal Chartā€


Not all dental charting is created equal.  Sure, there is the standard set of 32 teeth, and everyone should chart restoratively as well as record pocket depths, but our experience shows that there is a vast difference between how a General Dentist and a Periodontist chart cases.

The key here is not only in which data fields are recorded but also how the recorded data are viewed.

Dentists typically do not collect detailed clinical information beyond the status of their restorative needs and when they do it's often just screening data (CPITN or BPE).  They usually will refer patients when they find periodontal issues such as deep probing depths or mucogingival deformities.  As a result, most dental software products especially those included in practice management software, are only designed to accommodate the general dentist’s needs and leave an open-ended platform if further analysis or documentation/ details are required.

Dental charting often includes a...

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The Major Misconceptions About Staff Performance and Competency

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020

The job of a leader is to exploit the best talents and encourage the growth of those in need of help to build the best repertoire of skills for which they are capable of. (GS)

Most of the time when an employee is hired, he or she feels as though they've started with a ten-minute tutorial of the job’s requirements.  Ten minutes may be an exaggeration but, no matter what, to the new staff member, it never seems like enough time. 

A 'newly minted' employee in any medical field is far more likely to feel the strain of insecurity accompanied by the sheer terror of making a mistake with a patient’s health.  However, even veteran staff, when walking into a new environment, find it both familiar yet foreign at the same time when compared to their previous employment.  No two doctors are alike in either temperament or expectation, let alone experience.

Having a dental background and or a degree, makes it seem like a new employee should already come into your...

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Two Primary Reasons the Second Consult is Bad for Your Practice

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020

We recently did a survey asking periodontists about the efficiency of their practices.

Much to our surprise, one of the main points covered revealed a startling yet common problem. 

On the day of the initial new patient examination, patients aren’t being scheduled for their treatment. 

Most of the periodontal practices we surveyed are booking a second consultation and others are having to call and follow up with the patient after the patient has left the office.

If this sounds like your practice, I would like you to think about a few very important questions.

On the cases that didn’t schedule, what was the purpose of the initial examination? Was it exclusively just for data collection?  Was it simply just a meet and greet?

Maybe your goal is to schedule the patient for treatment as soon as possible and it just doesn’t end up happening that way.  Maybe, you felt like you were missing too many puzzle pieces in order to develop a clear diagnosis...

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