Treatment Plan Presentation

06Sep07

This is carried out after diagnostic review has been completed and the proposed treatment plan approved by your Group Practice Director or the Treatment Planning Czar.

Physical Arrangement

  • A specific time should be planned for this important interaction.
    • Comfortable seating arrangement – practitioner on eye level of patient
    • Adequate visual aids
    • All appropriate patient records including radiographs and diagnostic models
  • Treatment Plan
    • Two copies of approved treatment plan
    • Written outline of points to be covered
    • Be prepared to give an estimate of the time & number of appointment required
  • Know the total fee

Technique

Patients must be educated to the extent and implications of their problems. Explain the purpose of the treatment plan explanation. Tell the patient what you found when you did the comprehensive examination.

  • General findings
    • Influence of systemic conditions (if any)
    • Modification necessary in systemic therapy to accomplish dental goals
    • Modification of dental goals in relation to systemic problems
  • Oral findings
    • o Tell the patient something good you found on your examination
    • o Tell the patient what problems you have found. Illustrate the problems using:
      • Patient’s diagnostic casts
      • Use of radiographs
      • Patient education materials
    • o Resist the temptation to teach your patient how to read radiographs
  • Be careful to use lay language appropriate to the patient’s dental I.Q. and be sure that the patient understands each point as you progress. This can be ascertained by asking open-end questions of the patient at strategic points of the presentation.
  • It is not necessary to review the problems in each specific tooth as long as you are sure the patient understands the underlying process of disease involved. For example:
    • Illustrate the process of caries on a single tooth or two and then state, “You have four teeth which have new carious lesions and three in which the decay has recurred along the edge of previously placed fillings.” The patient’s diagnostic casts can personalize this communication and make it much more meaningful.
    • Illustrate the general process of periodontal disease and then say, “There are several areas, especially around your back molars where the breakdown has progressed to the point where treatment will be required to re-establish health.”
    • Tell your patient about the importance of a normal, complete, comfortable and functioning dentition. Now, discuss the result of unrestored missing teeth and describe in general terms your recommendation for replacement.
      • Fixed partial dentures
      • Removable partial dentures
  • Give the best possible estimate of prognosis with and without treatment. Emphasize that the treatment plan is, in fact, a good and reasonable investment in time, effort and money for the patient. (Amortized over the projected service life X expected benefits).
  • Clearly establish the patient’s role in attaining the overall goals of treatment and maintenance of health.
    • Keep appointments
    • Follow instructions
    • Assume financial responsibility
    • Participate in the recall program
  • Negotiate a specific agreement about time & financial commitments from the patient.
    • Clearly indicate your policy regarding late or broken appointments and deviation from previously arranged payment schedule.
    • When presenting a treatment plan remember that your patient is tuned into station “W.I.F.M.” – – WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? You must present all treatment recommendations in terms of benefits. The major classes of benefits are:
      • Freedom from pain
      • Pleasing appearance
      • Good chewing function
      • Eliminate infection
      • Preservation of youthfulness
      • Save money
      • Save time
      • Prevent embarrassment
      • Promote a feeling of well being
    • Every procedure you recommend should fulfill one or more of these general benefits.
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