Tracking Soft Tissue Management Success Rate

For years, I’ve read in dental journals that 30% of people have gum disease. Therefore, dentists should have 30% of their recall patients either in soft tissue management (STM) programs or perio maintenance. In Dentrix, you can track this by looking at the Dentrix Office Manager, Letters reporting section, where you can run reports to find:

  • Patients who started an STM program (search code D4355)
  • Patients who completed an STM program (search code D4999)
  • Patients who completed a perio maintenance visit (search code D4910)
  • Patients who completed an adult prophy (D1110)

If you run each of these reports for the same date range, let’s say, last month – then you can start to make some comparisons. First of all, compare the number of STMs started vs. completed – in fact, you can see this by hygienist. Wouldn’t it be nice to know which of your hygienists is starting the most soft tissue cases? And then to find out which one is most successful at completing them? The most successful hygienist can coach the other ones – and perhaps improve the success for the team.

Next, compare the periodontal maintenance against the adult prophy codes – what % do you see? Is it anywhere near 30%?  If it’s dramatically low, perhaps it’s time to review the criteria for which patients qualify for a periodontal maintenance visit rather than just a cleaning. Perhaps it’s time to review the recall letter you send to your perio maintenance patients – could it use some updating?

If you would like to make improvements in your hygiene department, you can use these reports so your hygienists can see their performance in black and white. Then, spend some lunchtime on training and talk with your team about how everyone can improve. Finally, you can measure again to check your success!

For more ideas to improve the business-side of your dental practice:

AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
1 Comment
  • Suzette

    I absolutely enjoyed reading great success others have had with advancing their career in dental management training. I am very interested in learning more. Please reply via e-mail with any information at all in regards to training to becoming a dental office manager. I have over 2 years in being in the dental field.

    Thank you,


    August 30, 2011