#11 – Understands and can help with recall system

On the treatment sheet, record treatment performed, number months until next recall cleaning appointment, any supplies or x rays given, number of units hygienist will need to perform the cleaning (with 1 unit = 15 minutes), and the hygienist’s initials. (See following sheets) Example Exam Prophy 2 BWX (6 Mo. 4u) S.S.

The larger upper left remarks box is reserved for treatment that the doctor plans to do.

The large upper right box marked “personals” is reserved for your comments about that person. What does s/he like to do? What makes them interesting and special? The difference between a tooth cleaner and a professional is how well you can relate to people. Do you see teeth and gums only? How well you fill out this section answers the question not only to you, but to anyone who picks up the folder!

It is extremely important to discuss with your client the reason for them to return for their next cleaning and the proper time interval. Develop a good communicating adult to adult dialogue. An effective hygienist will have 85-90% of her clients returning on time for their check ups. The correct motivational tool to accomplish this is to find out why your client wants to return and how soon. To be successful you must satisfy your client needs. When you complete your appointment, determine the reason your client needs to return. Discuss it with your client.

As a rule of thumb, a hygienist should expect to receive about 1/2 of the dollars she produces. Many hygienists believe they want to be paid a percentage of their production. I believe this tends to isolate them as “money machines” in the office. This can lead to a “prima donna” who pressures secretaries and grumps around when a client fails an appointment or there is a hole in her schedule.

At the other extreme is the hygienist who’s paid a salary, doesn’t care about her production and doesn’t know what’s going on in terms of the doctor’s production. She just wants “more money”.

Somewhere between these extremes is a formula that rewards a hygienist for being productive but keeps her/him from turning into a professionally narrow-minded, tooth cleaning, money machine. To try to find this middle ground, you will be required to generate a certain amount of money, but this is only one step in this level. You will be expected to accomplish all other skills before you can advance a level and receive a raise.

Every 3 months (Jan. Mar., Apr. June, July Sept., and Oct. Dec.), your production will be monitored. You must always maintain your 3-month productive daily average above the minimum set for your pay level.

We have a comprehensive recall system to stay in contact with our clients.
Here are the contacts a client will receive from our office:
• Postcard in the mail – reminder that you are due for your dental cleaning – sent 5 months after last visit date
• Email – 6 months + 1 day after last visit date
• Phone call #1 from secretary – 6 months + 1 week after last visit date
• Letter #1 from secretary – 6 months + 2 weeks after last visit date
• Phone call #2 from secretary – 6 months + 3 weeks after last visit date
• If the client still does not schedule, then we continue to try to “reactivate” him with a series of letters.
• Reactivation letter #1 – 9-12 months after last visit date
• Phone call #3 from secretary – 1 year after last visit date
• Reactivation letter #2 – 13-15 months after last visit date
• Reactivation letter #3 – 16-19 months after last visit date
• Reactivation letter #4 – 20-24 months after last visit date

Here are the Reactivation letters:

Reactivation Letter #1
Dear «FName»,
It has been brought to my attention that an appointment has not been set up for your next dental checkup. (By checkup is meant a cleaning appointment.)
Getting regular checkups has proven successful in saving patients from unnecessary expense and pain. When we see you regularly, we can prevent problems from developing – such as cavities and gum disease – or detect them in their early stages.
I urge you now to call immediately to set an appointment for this. By calling and setting up the appointment now, you will have a better opportunity to select the time most convenient for your schedule.

Yours in the Interest of Better Dental Health,
Bobbe Baker
Appointment Secretary

P.S. Don’t forget that our limited warranty program where all treatment (fillings, crowns, etc.) will be redone for the first three years after placement at no charge as long as you are in for your regular cleaning appointments. Call us today so your warranty doesn’t run out!

Reactivation Letter #2
Dear «FName»,
Our office is currently having a dental awareness campaign to further introduce and educate people in our community about dental health. Our staff is excited to reach out and tell people about dental health maintenance.
As you may know, it is very important for your dental health to have your teeth cleaned and examined at least every six months, and follow through with any treatment recommended.
Dental problems are not usually obvious to a person until they reach a stage where the problems become acute (serious). This can then lead to more time, pain and expense at a later date. Preventive dentistry has come a long way in recent years in helping people extend the use of their own teeth, and have more comfort and better health in their later years.
We would like to help you with your dental health, but can’t if we don’t see you!
It is important to see if conditions have changed in your mouth. The doctor would like you to come in for your checkup, and of course, to say hello!
Please call the office to set up an appointment.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Yours in the Interest of Better Dental Health,
Bobbe Baker
Appointment Secretary

Reactivation Letter #3
Dear «FName»,
One of the leading causes of tooth loss is gum disease. Gum disease is easily detected and prevented through regular visits to the dentist. The tartar and calculus build-up around your teeth which cause gum disease cannot be fully removed or controlled through home care alone. This can only be accomplished by trained professionals in the dental office.
Our records show that you have not been in to see us for over a year. Our concern is that your dental health can be worsening. We can be instrumental in helping you to keep your teeth for your entire life, but only if we see you!
Please take a minute to call our office and set up an appointment.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Yours in the Interest of Better Dental Health,
Bobbe Baker
Appointment Secretary

P.S. We are concerned that it has been over a year and a half since your last preventive care cleaning appointment. Many people who “drop out” of regular dental visits end up with pain and expensive repairs. We want to do everything we can to help you avoid this. Bring this letter in with you and we will reduce the fee of your next cleaning appointment by 50%!

Reactivation Letter #4
Dear «FName»,
We have not seen you for awhile.

As a dentist, my mission has been to practice “preventive dentistry.” This means I see problems early, heal them or treat them in the least painful and least expensive manner possible. I find this approach to be the best for my patients and the most fulfilling for me.

In order to do this, I need to see you on a regular basis. At least once every six months. Dental problems do not “hurt” until something is really wrong. Most patients who come to see me in pain, could have saved themselves a lot of grief had they seen me months or years earlier.

I am not sure why you have not been in. If you feel you need to talk with me, please call me. I try to establish a special relationship with all of my patients, based on trust and a genuine care for their health and welfare. The one thing I am sure of is that the longer you don’t come in, the worse off you can get.

The idea of your dental health getting worse bothers me – I want to help. Please call my office and schedule your next checkup appointment.

I look forward to seeing you again!

Yours in the Interest of Better Dental Health,

________________________________________ _____________________
Sec. Team Leader                                                                       Date