Dental Staff Training Resources: Compare Treatment Options Website

Resource for dental practice staff training

New Resources for Dental Staff Training

I saw an interesting ad in Real Simple magazine. It shared a resource for helping people compare medical treatment options. As dental treatment is rapidly moving into the world of medical, I thought it might be interesting to check out. Here’s how you could incorporate this into your next dental practice staff training meeting:


AHRQ = Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

This is a very busy website with tons of content. It has a tab for Patients, Professionals, even Policymakers – and tons of links below each of these tabs. To avoid getting lost in the forest, click on the tab For Patients & Consumers. On that page, on the right side you can see a yellow block of information – click the very top link of Treatment Options. Unfortunately, you cannot just search for the condition or disease you have, but there are six categories you can choose from – including diabetes, heart conditions, men’s health, women’s health, etc.

Compare Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

I clicked on Women’s Health – and then scrolled through the health topics (again, such a bummer we can’t just search for the terms we want) and found one on Treating Sleep Apnea. I was impressed with the information available on “Mandibular Advancement Device”- the dental appliance option compared with a CPAP machine.

This page walks you through Understanding your Condition and Understanding your Choices and Making a Decision. You can download this material as a pdf, read it online in Spanish or even listen to it if you download the audio. At the very bottom it gives the names of who compiled the information.

How can you use this in your dental practice?

You could link to specific treatment option pages from your website. For example, if you offer sleep apnea devices to your patients, this might be a very nice link to share from your own website. We know patients like to learn more about their treatment options – and a government website that has done the work for us can be a very helpful third party resource for patients who like to learn as much as they can.

Outside of dental care, patients are dealing with a variety of medical conditions that they may ask you about regularly. Perhaps by sharing this website with your patients who have questions about their medical care, you can help them to learn more about their treatment options from a resource you determine to be worthwhile? Show this website to your hygienists – often, a hygienist is the first one to hear the long story of a new illness and she can be prepared to help.

Personal help?

On top of our professional work in the dental office, each of us may be dealing with a medical treatment decision – whether for ourselves or a family member or friend. Discovering this website and doing some research here may be helpful to identify what options exist and then determine the next steps to learn more.

Also, I found that once I was at the Obstructive Sleep Apnea page, that website seemed to allow me to perform searches. Named Effective Health Care Program, this page shows the results of an empty search – and there are only 41 items listed. So, this may not be the most comprehensive site, but it’s a start.

For more resources to train your dental staff:

Filling your schedule is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog. One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

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AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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