Welcome

to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

2 Reasons Why Your Patients Will Choose Perio Therapy Over a New iPhone 6

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 30, 2015

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I am sure that you have patients seated in your chair daily who carry an expensive mobile device. Maybe they have a sleeve of tattoos covering their arm(s) and many patients own a pair of Nike tennis shoes that cost over $100! These are your patients who decided to wait or worst case scenario, not schedule for their treatment or return for routine dental hygiene appointments.

My question to you is, “What can you say to your patients  so they say “YES” to your care? ” 

What will you say to your patients so they choose to schedule and pay for Perio Therapy over buying a new iPhone 6, expensive shoes, tattos, etc., etc?

There are 2 reasons why your patients will choose Perio Therapy (Or your other dental services) over a new iPhone, etc.

2 Reasons Why Patients Say “YES” and Decide to Return to Your Office for Routine Visists:

[bullet_block large_icon=”0.png” width=”” alignment=”center”]

1. Value of Your Services

2. Benefits to Them for the Services You Offer (WIIFM)

[/bullet_block]

Value of your services can be developed when you speak the same language as your patient.

Know what words resonate with each individual patient. One thing I know for sure is that the hygiene appointment is more than a “Cleaning”

Benefits are the result of patients understanding the value of the treatment you will provide for them.

For some patients a benefit means not spending a lot of money at the dental office and therefore preventive treatment can save them money.

For other patients a benefit may mean improving their diabetes and living and longer, healthier life.

One more very important reason WHY patients will say “YES” to their treatment plan and WHY they will return for routine hygiene appointments, etc., is because they trust you.

When people trust you they are most likely to sit up, listen and take action to do what is best for them.

What do you say to add value and explain benefits of treatment to your patients?

Please comment below.

Should you want to take a deeper dive into this topic I have created a Free eBook which will provide implementation tools for the entire team. This eBook provides a worksheet of words and phrases to use that add value and explain benefits to your patients. It gives you a team activity should you want to have a team meeting and get everyone to that next level of YES from your patients.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE RESOURCE HERE

DH Value and Benefits


Debbie Bittke squareABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Practice Solutions since 2000. She serves dental offices throughout the world by adding valuable services and systems to the dental hygiene department. She is very unique in the way she is able to look at the total profitability of your dental practice NOT only the dental hygiene department.

Debbie is a former Dental Hygiene Program Director and is a former Clinical Assistant Professor from the University of Southern California. Please contact her for a 30 minute No charge Discovery Call to find the powerful areas  to focus your efforts to be your most profitable and work with more ease during your day at the office:  Call to schedule: 888-816-1511 or schedule a time here: http://bit.ly/30minDiscoveryCall

 

 

 

2 Reasons Why Your Patients Will Choose Perio Therapy Over a New iPhone 6

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

I am sure that you have patients seated in your chair daily who carry an expensive mobile device. Maybe they have a sleeve of tattoos covering their arm(s) and many patients own a pair of Nike tennis shoes that cost over $100! These are your patients who decided to wait or worst case scenario, not schedule for their treatment or return for routine dental hygiene appointments.

My question to you is, “What can you say to your patients  so they say “YES” to your care? ” 

What will you say to your patients so they choose to schedule and pay for Perio Therapy over buying a new iPhone 6, expensive shoes, tattos, etc., etc?

There are 2 reasons why your patients will choose Perio Therapy (Or your other dental services) over a new iPhone, etc.

2 Reasons Why Patients Say “YES” and Decide to Return to Your Office for Routine Visists:

[bullet_block large_icon=”0.png” width=”” alignment=”center”]1. Value of Your Services

2. Benefits to Them for the Services You Offer (WIIFM)

[/bullet_block]Value of your services can be developed when you speak the same language as your patient.

Know what words resonate with each individual patient. One thing I know for sure is that the hygiene appointment is more than a “Cleaning”

Benefits are the result of patients understanding the value of the treatment you will provide for them.

For some patients a benefit means not spending a lot of money at the dental office and therefore preventive treatment can save them money.

For other patients a benefit may mean improving their diabetes and living and longer, healthier life.

One more very important reason WHY patients will say “YES” to their treatment plan and WHY they will return for routine hygiene appointments, etc., is because they trust you.

When people trust you they are most likely to sit up, listen and take action to do what is best for them.

What do you say to add value and explain benefits of treatment to your patients?

Please comment below.

Should you want to take a deeper dive into this topic I have created a Free eBook which will provide implementation tools for the entire team. This eBook provides a worksheet of words and phrases to use that add value and explain benefits to your patients. It gives you a team activity should you want to have a team meeting and get everyone to that next level of YES from your patients.

Top 10 Reasons Why Bleeding Gums are Not OKAY!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 23, 2015

I am certain that you have heard patients say “…But my gums always bleed…”

If someone washes their hands and they start to bleed, what does that mean? Do you think they would feel a bit panicked? Would they call their doctor or maybe go as far as rush to the emergency room?

You probably get my point here. It is not normal!  (Be sure to click on the picture to the left to view the video with more information)

My next question is: “Why do patients come to the dental office and think it is no problem that their gums bleed when they brush their teeth?” [images style=”0″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fdentalpracticesolutions.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F04%2Fbleeding-gum-300×187.jpg” width=”300″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

Here is a list of Top 10 Reasons Your Patient should not be okay with their gums bleeding:

  1. Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation
    • Inflammation leads to other diseases in the body – Real important one here!
  2. Trauma to the gums
    • Aggressive tooth brushing or tooth picking, mouth trauma, etc.
  3. Early sign of Periodontal Disease
  4. Can be associated with a vitamin deficiency
    • Scurvy, Vitamin K, etc.
  5. Hormonal changes
    • Pregnancy, Puberty and Menopause, etc.
  6. Medications
    • Aspirin, medications for patients at risk for heart attack or stroke, epilepsy, chemotherapy drugs, etc.
  7. Liver disease
    • Liver disease associated with chronic alcoholism disturbs the liver metabolism which may lead to bleeding gums
  8. Various cancers
    • Leukemia or multiple myeloma may cause gums to bleed
  9. Stress
  10. HIV

Next time you hear a patient say “…but my gums always bleed…” be sure to review a list of reasons they need to be concerned about their gums bleeding.

Use statements that paint a clear picture of why a patient needs to be very concerned about their gums bleeding.

Many times dental professionals don’t want to scare their patient so they eliminate the important words such as bleeding. Next time you have a patient with bleeding gums say the word “Bleeding” and tell your patients why they should be concerned about bleeding gums.

We are in the business of providing a longer and healthier life for our patients. Give them this important message and you are most likely to see them say “YES” to treatment and return for routine dental hygiene appointments.

How do you treat patients who have a lot of bleeding? What does your treatment plan look like when a patient is slightly overdue for their hygiene appointment and they have more than normal amounts of sub and supra-gingival deposits?

When showing patients their bleeding gums and when talking about why bleeding gums are not healthy, use words that will add value to your patient so they understand the benefit for accepting treatment, want to pay for necessary treatment and schedule for future routine visits.

Many patients will create a change in their thinking of the hygiene appointment when they understand the value and benefits of a healthy mouth.

Write down words that you know add value and next to these words write the benefits when patients make the change from disease to health.

Each patient will have different values so understand what is important to them.

Write down the words you can say to help them shift their view on bleeding gums. Next to the “value” word draw a vertical line and write a benefit next to that word on the other side of the vertical line. Practice saying these words that add value and benefits to your patients. Now you will see your patients return for routine visits and not cancel thinking “It’s JUST a cleaning!”

Is this a nebulous area in your dental office? Not sure if your patient will return for another prophy appointment?

Click on the link below to receive a flow sheet for Treatment Guidelines of the Plaque-Induced Gingivitis Patient.

[button_2 color=”blue” align=”center” href=”https://dentalpracticesolutions.leadpages.net/plaque-induced-gingivitis-optin/”]Send me the Flow Sheet for Plaque-Induced Gingivitis[/button_2]Is this a hot button for you or your patients?

Please comment below and tell us more about your side of this story on bleeding gums.

Top 10 Reasons Why Bleeding Gums are Not OKAY!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 23 Bloody ProphyI am certain that you have heard patients say “…But my gums always bleed…”

If someone washes their hands and they start to bleed, what does that mean? Do you think they would feel a bit panicked? Would they call their doctor or maybe go as far as rush to the emergency room?

You probably get my point here. It is not normal!  (Be sure to click on the picture to the left to view the video with more information)

My next question is: “Why do patients come to the dental office and think it is no problem that their gums bleed when they brush their teeth?” [images style=”0″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fdentalpracticesolutions.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F04%2Fbleeding-gum-300×187.jpg” width=”300″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

Here is a list of Top 10 Reasons Your Patient should not be okay with their gums bleeding:

  1. Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation
    • Inflammation leads to other diseases in the body – Real important one here!
  2. Trauma to the gums
    • Aggressive tooth brushing or tooth picking, mouth trauma, etc.
  3. Early sign of Periodontal Disease
  4. Can be associated with a vitamin deficiency
    • Scurvy, Vitamin K, etc.
  5. Hormonal changes
    • Pregnancy, Puberty and Menopause, etc.
  6. Medications
    • Aspirin, medications for patients at risk for heart attack or stroke, epilepsy, chemotherapy drugs, etc.
  7. Liver disease
    • Liver disease associated with chronic alcoholism disturbs the liver metabolism which may lead to bleeding gums
  8. Various cancers
    • Leukemia or multiple myeloma may cause gums to bleed
  9. Stress
  10. HIV

Next time you hear a patient say “…but my gums always bleed…” be sure to review a list of reasons they need to be concerned about their gums bleeding.

Use statements that paint a clear picture of why a patient needs to be very concerned about their gums bleeding.

Many times dental professionals don’t want to scare their patient so they eliminate the important words such as bleeding. Next time you have a patient with bleeding gums say the word “Bleeding” and tell your patients why they should be concerned about bleeding gums.

We are in the business of providing a longer and healthier life for our patients. Give them this important message and you are most likely to see them say “YES” to treatment and return for routine dental hygiene appointments.

How do you treat patients who have a lot of bleeding? What does your treatment plan look like when a patient is slightly overdue for their hygiene appointment and they have more than normal amounts of sub and supra-gingival deposits?

When showing patients their bleeding gums and when talking about why bleeding gums are not healthy, use words that will add value to your patient so they understand the benefit for accepting treatment, want to pay for necessary treatment and schedule for future routine visits.

Many patients will create a change in their thinking of the hygiene appointment when they understand the value and benefits of a healthy mouth.

Write down words that you know add value and next to these words write the benefits when patients make the change from disease to health.

Each patient will have different values so understand what is important to them.

Write down the words you can say to help them shift their view on bleeding gums. Next to the “value” word draw a vertical line and write a benefit next to that word on the other side of the vertical line. Practice saying these words that add value and benefits to your patients. Now you will see your patients return for routine visits and not cancel thinking “It’s JUST a cleaning!”

Is this a nebulous area in your dental office? Not sure if your patient will return for another prophy appointment?

Click on the link below to receive a flow sheet for Treatment Guidelines of the Plaque-Induced Gingivitis Patient.

[button_2 color=”blue” align=”center” href=”https://dentalpracticesolutions.leadpages.net/plaque-induced-gingivitis-optin/”]Send me the Flow Sheet for Plaque-Induced Gingivitis[/button_2]

Is this a hot button for you or your patients?

Please comment below and tell us more about your side of this story on bleeding gums.

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Debbie Bittke squareABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Practice Solutions since 2000. She serves dental offices throughout the world by adding valuable services and systems to the dental hygiene department. She is very unique in the way she is able to look at the total profitability of your dental practice NOT only the dental hygiene department.

Debbie is a former Dental Hygiene Program Director and is a former Clinical Assistant Professor from the University of Southern California. Please contact her for a 30 minute No charge Discovery Call to find the powerful areas  to focus your efforts to be your most profitable and work with more ease during your day at the office:  Call to schedule: 888-816-1511 or schedule a time here: http://bit.ly/30minDiscoveryCall

 

 

 

Treatment and Billing Guidelines for Dental Hygiene Patients: Plaque-Induced Gingivitis

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 16, 2015

How often to do you have patients scheduled for a dental hygiene appointment and they have no radiographic signs of bone loss, their periodontal screening exam is WNL, but… they have heavy bleeding?

And what about those patients who are overdue to see the hygienist. They should have been to your dental office over a year ago. They finally come to their dental hygiene appointment and they have no signs of perio but there is more than a normal amount of calculus and there is a lot of bleeding during the appointment.  You can also click on the video in the picture above.

How do you treat these patients?

Do you tell them to brush and floss better and you’ll see them in six months?

When a patient is a slightly overdue and they have more than normal amounts of supra and/or subgingival calculus, do you do your best and hope they look better in six months?

Are you telling patients such as these mentioned about, “We’ll see you for your “cleaning” in six months and hope it looks better!” ????  (Note the word “Cleaning”.  Is it really “JUST a cleaning?!”)

Are you concerned about what insurance will pay so you just see the patient back in six months not wanting to deal with a patient complaining that their “insurance won’t pay for another prophy”???

Here is an answer to treating these challenging “Bloody Prophy’s”.  Use this as a guideline but not something set in stone for every bloody prophy.

Each patient is treated individually not everyone gets the same treatment plan. 

At the end of this information I have developed a protocol and you can download this which includes how to get paid and where to read more about the treatment and billing guidelines for dental hygiene patients with “Plaque-Induced Gingivitis”.  Also see the American Academy of Periodontology for their Parameter on the patient with Plaque-Induced Gingivitis.

Let’s look at what the ADA says about the role and responsibility of a dentist and dental hygienist:

“A career as a dental hygienist offers a wide range of challenges. In the dental office, the dentist and the dental hygienist work together to meet the oral health needs of patients.” See www.ada.org for this description. 

Key phrase here is “Meet the oral health needs of patients.”

It says nothing about meeting their financial needs but it specifically states that we meet their oral health needs.

Let’s look at the definition of a Prophylaxis:

Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures in the permanent and transitional dentition. It is intended to control irritational factors.

Now, back to the question of how to treat a patient who has plaque-induced gingivitis?

Here is how the appointments will flow. (See the below for more information about the patient treatment sequence and how to bill for services rendered.)

The first appointment when you discover the patient has gingivitis with the absence of periodontal disease will be a gross debridement. Gross debridement is not a definitive treatment however; this procedure is performed so the doctor can perform a comprehensive oral evaluation or a comprehensive periodontal evaluation at a subsequent appointment. The patient may or may not be a patient who needs active periodontal therapy.

Full mouth debridement is not intended to be reported as “prophy” but this preliminary procedure is completed so that a comprehensive exam may be completed at the second visit. The patient may be either a perio on a non-perio patient.

The main purpose of full-mouth debridement is to “Pave the way” for the oral evaluation by removing “roadblocks” and to allow for preliminary healing. The roadblocks being excessive plaque and calculus that interferes with the patient’s ability to sit through a painful dental hygiene appointment due to inflammation, the hygienist’s ability to pave the way through excessive calculus and hemorrhagic tissue and the dentist to complete a comprehensive exam.

Subsequent Appointments

At the next appointment approximately two weeks later you will complete a prophylaxis or scaling and root planing and at this appointment the comprehensive exam or a comprehensive periodontal exam will be completed.

Plan to schedule a re-evaluation or tissue check in 4-6 weeks. This is considered a post-op appointment and it is billed as another prophylaxis. At this appointment you will check to be sure proper healing as occurred and the patient is now healthy.

Now that you have cleared the roadblocks when you complete a comprehensive periodontal exam it is possible to discover the patient has active periodontal disease and needs scaling and root planing.

During this appointment the hygienist will schedule routine hygiene appointments for future dental hygiene preventive care.

Think about what the patients balance point is. Balance point refers to how long the patient can go between dental hygiene appointments and still remain healthy. (No signs of active perio. i.e. bleeding gums, pockets > 4mms, etc., etc.)

Each patient is an individual and this is only a guideline. Some patients may only need to return for one more prophylaxis after the initial debridement. Use your best judgement as this is only a guideline for you to make your job easier and not have to re-create the wheel yourself.

Wonder HOW you will be reimbursed (especially if you are billing insurance)?

Under the current nomenclature, there is no alternative classification code for a second prophy or a “difficult prophy”. To report a difficult prophylaxis requiring additional time.  Simply report Prophylaxis at a higher fee.

Take insurance out of the equation and think about your role as a healthcare professional. Go back to the description listed above from the ADA.

One primary role of the dental hygienist is to not only collect that data but deliver and communicate the data in a way that adds value to the patient and benefits their life in a way that is most appropriate for each individual patient.

For billing information please refer to: Practice Boost by Charles Blair, DDS or Dentalcodeology by Patti DiGangi, RDH

Conclusion

It is important to understand WHY we do what we do as dental professionals. Today’s dentistry is about treating the whole patient not just the patient’s mouth.

Dental Hygienists do more than clean teeth.  Sit down with your team and review your office protocols and your philosophy of care for the periodontal patient as well as the patient with only plaque-induced gingivitis.

What is doctors’ expectation of how he or she wants patients to be treated? Review the standard of care: ada.org and perio.org

Bottom-line for today’s dental professional is that we are now in the business of helping our patients live a longer and healthier life. When we embrace this thought process it provides satisfaction for what we do and creates patients who want to pay and return for services in your dental office.

Should you want a written protocol and take a deeper dive into this important topic which sometimes seems like a nebulous topic; download the information below.

[button_2 color=”blue” align=”center” href=”https://dentalpracticesolutions.leadpages.net/plaque-induced-gingivitis-optin/”]Send me the Flowsheet for Treating the Patient with Plaque-Induced Gingivitis[/button_2]Have a question or comment? Please feel free to comment below.

Treatment and Billing Guidelines for Dental Hygiene Patients: Plaque-Induced Gingivitis

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Plaque Induced Gingivitis

How often to do you have patients scheduled for a dental hygiene appointment and they have no radiographic signs of bone loss, their periodontal screening exam is WNL, but… they have heavy bleeding?

And what about those patients who are overdue to see the hygienist. They should have been to your dental office over a year ago. They finally come to their dental hygiene appointment and they have no signs of perio but there is more than a normal amount of calculus and there is a lot of bleeding during the appointment.  You can also click on the video in the picture above.

How do you treat these patients?

Do you tell them to brush and floss better and you’ll see them in six months?

When a patient is a slightly overdue and they have more than normal amounts of supra and/or subgingival calculus, do you do your best and hope they look better in six months?

Are you telling patients such as these mentioned about, “We’ll see you for your “cleaning” in six months and hope it looks better!” ????  (Note the word “Cleaning”.  Is it really “JUST a cleaning?!”)

Are you concerned about what insurance will pay so you just see the patient back in six months not wanting to deal with a patient complaining that their “insurance won’t pay for another prophy”???

Here is an answer to treating these challenging “Bloody Prophy’s”.  Use this as a guideline but not something set in stone for every bloody prophy.

Each patient is treated individually not everyone gets the same treatment plan. 

At the end of this information I have developed a protocol and you can download this which includes how to get paid and where to read more about the treatment and billing guidelines for dental hygiene patients with “Plaque-Induced Gingivitis”.  Also see the American Academy of Periodontology for their Parameter on the patient with Plaque-Induced Gingivitis.

Let’s look at what the ADA says about the role and responsibility of a dentist and dental hygienist:

“A career as a dental hygienist offers a wide range of challenges. In the dental office, the dentist and the dental hygienist work together to meet the oral health needs of patients.” See www.ada.org for this description. 

Key phrase here is “Meet the oral health needs of patients.”

It says nothing about meeting their financial needs but it specifically states that we meet their oral health needs.

Let’s look at the definition of a Prophylaxis:

Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures in the permanent and transitional dentition. It is intended to control irritational factors.

Now, back to the question of how to treat a patient who has plaque-induced gingivitis?

Here is how the appointments will flow. (See the below for more information about the patient treatment sequence and how to bill for services rendered.)

The first appointment when you discover the patient has gingivitis with the absence of periodontal disease will be a gross debridement. Gross debridement is not a definitive treatment however; this procedure is performed so the doctor can perform a comprehensive oral evaluation or a comprehensive periodontal evaluation at a subsequent appointment. The patient may or may not be a patient who needs active periodontal therapy.

Full mouth debridement is not intended to be reported as “prophy” but this preliminary procedure is completed so that a comprehensive exam may be completed at the second visit. The patient may be either a perio on a non-perio patient.

The main purpose of full-mouth debridement is to “Pave the way” for the oral evaluation by removing “roadblocks” and to allow for preliminary healing. The roadblocks being excessive plaque and calculus that interferes with the patient’s ability to sit through a painful dental hygiene appointment due to inflammation, the hygienist’s ability to pave the way through excessive calculus and hemorrhagic tissue and the dentist to complete a comprehensive exam.

Subsequent Appointments

At the next appointment approximately two weeks later you will complete a prophylaxis or scaling and root planing and at this appointment the comprehensive exam or a comprehensive periodontal exam will be completed.

Plan to schedule a re-evaluation or tissue check in 4-6 weeks. This is considered a post-op appointment and it is billed as another prophylaxis. At this appointment you will check to be sure proper healing as occurred and the patient is now healthy.

Now that you have cleared the roadblocks when you complete a comprehensive periodontal exam it is possible to discover the patient has active periodontal disease and needs scaling and root planing.

During this appointment the hygienist will schedule routine hygiene appointments for future dental hygiene preventive care.

Think about what the patients balance point is. Balance point refers to how long the patient can go between dental hygiene appointments and still remain healthy. (No signs of active perio. i.e. bleeding gums, pockets > 4mms, etc., etc.)

Each patient is an individual and this is only a guideline. Some patients may only need to return for one more prophylaxis after the initial debridement. Use your best judgement as this is only a guideline for you to make your job easier and not have to re-create the wheel yourself.

Wonder HOW you will be reimbursed (especially if you are billing insurance)?

Under the current nomenclature, there is no alternative classification code for a second prophy or a “difficult prophy”. To report a difficult prophylaxis requiring additional time.  Simply report Prophylaxis at a higher fee.

Take insurance out of the equation and think about your role as a healthcare professional. Go back to the description listed above from the ADA.

One primary role of the dental hygienist is to not only collect that data but deliver and communicate the data in a way that adds value to the patient and benefits their life in a way that is most appropriate for each individual patient.

For billing information please refer to: Practice Boost by Charles Blair, DDS or Dentalcodeology by Patti DiGangi, RDH

Conclusion

It is important to understand WHY we do what we do as dental professionals. Today’s dentistry is about treating the whole patient not just the patient’s mouth.

Dental Hygienists do more than clean teeth.  Sit down with your team and review your office protocols and your philosophy of care for the periodontal patient as well as the patient with only plaque-induced gingivitis.

What is doctors’ expectation of how he or she wants patients to be treated? Review the standard of care: ada.org and perio.org

Bottom-line for today’s dental professional is that we are now in the business of helping our patients live a longer and healthier life. When we embrace this thought process it provides satisfaction for what we do and creates patients who want to pay and return for services in your dental office.

Should you want a written protocol and take a deeper dive into this important topic which sometimes seems like a nebulous topic; download the information below.

[button_2 color=”blue” align=”center” href=”https://dentalpracticesolutions.leadpages.net/plaque-induced-gingivitis-optin/”]Send me the Flowsheet for Treating the Patient with Plaque-Induced Gingivitis[/button_2]

Have a question or comment? Please feel free to comment below.

 [headline style=”1″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]

Debbie Bittke squareABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Practice Solutions since 2000. She serves dental offices throughout the world by adding valuable services and systems to the dental hygiene department. She is very unique in the way she is able to look at the total profitability of your dental practice NOT only the dental hygiene department.

Debbie is a former Dental Hygiene Program Director and is a former Clinical Assistant Professor from the University of Southern California. Please contact her for a 30 minute No charge Discovery Call to find the powerful areas  to focus your efforts to be your most profitable and work with more ease during your day at the office:  Call to schedule: 888-816-1511 or schedule a time here: http://bit.ly/30minDiscoveryCall

 

Strategies for Treating and Billing for the Periodontal Patient

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 9, 2015

The large majority of the questions I receive on a consistent basis are about billing for a prophy after scaling and root planing has been completed. Like it or not, the majority of offices accept PPO assignments. Even if your office is not a provider of a PPO, you most likely offer to submit for payment to your patients’ insurance company. Today I will write about some strategies for treatment and billing for the periodontal patient. At the end of this blog, you can opt-in to get more tools to get everyone on your team “on the same page.” You can read this article and then grab the tools to implement immediately. (Click on the picture to the left and you will be able to view the video that goes along with this blog)

1. When do we submit for periodontal maintenance?

2. Can we alternate a prophy with periodontal maintenance?

These questions are very common and they can also be very confusing but the employees who bill for payment and the dental hygienists who are providing treatment. This can also be hazardous to legal and ethical reasons as well as being confusing. First let’s look at the definitions set by the American Dental Association for these services. Prophylaxis D1110 is one of the most misinterpreted codes in dentistry.

The CDT Procedures book describes a prophylaxis as a preventive procedure NOT a therapeutic procedure.  You may not ask “What does this mean for the hygienist treating patients?” and/or “What does this mean for billing the patient and/or insurance company?”

What this means is that if a patient has bleeding with 4 and 5 mm pockets (or greater), radiographic bone loss, even slight mobility, furcation involvement, muco-gingival involvement and/or recession, it means that this patient is not treated as a prophylaxis patient.

Know that the above paragraph describes a periodontal patient. This means that you will complete scaling and root planing. If the patient has only 1-3 teeth in any quadrant you will bill D4342 and if there are more than 3 teeth involved in a quadrant you will bill D4341.  Four to six weeks after scaling and root planing is completed you will have the patient return for a post-op (re-evaluation) visit. This visit is billed as the first of a life-time of Periodontal Maintenance appointments. (The Periodonta Patient will return approximately every ninety days and if billing insurance, the CDT code will be D4910) Think of this very similar to a patient with Diabetes and they will return to their physician or a lab to have a HbA1c blood test. If a patient has high cholesterol they will routinely see their physician for blood work to check their cholesterol levels.

It’s the same thing when a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease. You will treat with scaling and root planing, then re-evaluate. This re-evaluation is the first of future periodontal maintenance appointments.

Now let’s review the most recent definition of the Periodontal Code D4910:

Following periodontal therapy is periodontal maintenance and this continues at varying intervals determined by the clinical evaluation of the dentist and hygienist for the life of the dentition or any implant replacements. Periodontal maintenance includes removal of the bacterial plaque and calculus from supragingival and subgingival regions, site specific scaling, and root planing where indicated, and polishing the teeth. If new or recurring periodontal disease appears, additional diagnostic and treatment procedures must be considered. The definition of Periodontal Maintenance states that this procedure should continue for the life of the dentition.

There is no mention in the definition to only providing this service for a specific period of time after initial therapy.

I am consistently asked: Do we ever revert back to billing D1110?

It’s very important to note that treatment should always be based on diagnosis. If periodontal infection exists, it needs to be maintained to minimize recurring infection (meaning that if active disease returns you will complete D4341 or D4342 as necessary) and destruction of the periodontal support system and bone. If periodontal maintenance is needed, this is what should be completed regardless of insurance limitations.

Strategies for Treating and Billing for the Periodontal Patient

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 8 Video PicturejpgThe large majority of the questions I receive on a consistent basis are about billing for a prophy after scaling and root planing has been completed. Like it or not, the majority of offices accept PPO assignments. Even if your office is not a provider of a PPO, you most likely offer to submit for payment to your patients’ insurance company. Today I will write about some strategies for treatment and billing for the periodontal patient. At the end of this blog, you can opt-in to get more tools to get everyone on your team “on the same page.” You can read this article and then grab the tools to implement immediately. (Click on the picture to the left and you will be able to view the video that goes along with this blog)

1. When do we submit for periodontal maintenance?

2. Can we alternate a prophy with periodontal maintenance?

These questions are very common and they can also be very confusing but the employees who bill for payment and the dental hygienists who are providing treatment. This can also be hazardous to legal and ethical reasons as well as being confusing. First let’s look at the definitions set by the American Dental Association for these services. Prophylaxis D1110 is one of the most misinterpreted codes in dentistry.

The CDT Procedures book describes a prophylaxis as a preventive procedure NOT a therapeutic procedure.  You may not ask “What does this mean for the hygienist treating patients?” and/or “What does this mean for billing the patient and/or insurance company?”

What this means is that if a patient has bleeding with 4 and 5 mm pockets (or greater), radiographic bone loss, even slight mobility, furcation involvement, muco-gingival involvement and/or recession, it means that this patient is not treated as a prophylaxis patient.

Know that the above paragraph describes a periodontal patient. This means that you will complete scaling and root planing. If the patient has only 1-3 teeth in any quadrant you will bill D4342 and if there are more than 3 teeth involved in a quadrant you will bill D4341.  Four to six weeks after scaling and root planing is completed you will have the patient return for a post-op (re-evaluation) visit. This visit is billed as the first of a life-time of Periodontal Maintenance appointments. (The Periodonta Patient will return approximately every ninety days and if billing insurance, the CDT code will be D4910) Think of this very similar to a patient with Diabetes and they will return to their physician or a lab to have a HbA1c blood test. If a patient has high cholesterol they will routinely see their physician for blood work to check their cholesterol levels.

It’s the same thing when a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease. You will treat with scaling and root planing, then re-evaluate. This re-evaluation is the first of future periodontal maintenance appointments.

Now let’s review the most recent definition of the Periodontal Code D4910:

Following periodontal therapy is periodontal maintenance and this continues at varying intervals determined by the clinical evaluation of the dentist and hygienist for the life of the dentition or any implant replacements. Periodontal maintenance includes removal of the bacterial plaque and calculus from supragingival and subgingival regions, site specific scaling, and root planing where indicated, and polishing the teeth. If new or recurring periodontal disease appears, additional diagnostic and treatment procedures must be considered. The definition of Periodontal Maintenance states that this procedure should continue for the life of the dentition.

There is no mention in the definition to only providing this service for a specific period of time after initial therapy.

I am consistently asked: Do we ever revert back to billing D1110?

It’s very important to note that treatment should always be based on diagnosis. If periodontal infection exists, it needs to be maintained to minimize recurring infection (meaning that if active disease returns you will complete D4341 or D4342 as necessary) and destruction of the periodontal support system and bone. If periodontal maintenance is needed, this is what should be completed regardless of insurance limitations.

 Debbie Bittke squareAbout Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

In 2000, Debbie founded Dental Practice Solutions, a dental practice management business focused on creating profitable dental hygiene departments, as well as improving the total bottom line of the dental practice. She has been named as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants for 10 years in  row!

Debbie is a former clinical assistant professor at University of Southern California where to taught the senior dental hygiene students skills to treat periodontal patients. She also co-taught the practice management course  at USC from 200o-2002. (Until the school start PBL – Problem Based Learning)

Debbie has a team of experts to guide teams throughout the world to provide quality, patient centered practices that sustain profits for the life of their dental practice.

 

What Makes Your Dental Practice Irresistible?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 2, 2015

 

For most of my life, I lived in Orange County, California and I was a clinical hygienist in Newport Beach, California for more than twenty years.

If you are familiar with the area, what comes to mind when you think of Newport Beach, California or Orange County, California?

I looked up how people describe Orange County and here is a description I found:

“…an urban paradise in California where Amusement parks… Ice cream lovers and Soccer moms coincide and live with each other in peace and harmony.”  Orange County may be expensive, but it is a fun place to live!

Now, from a hygienist’s point of view and one who worked in Newport Beach, just think about this; there are actually patients who want their teeth perfect!  For the majority, that is what they want, and cost was not a factor!  It sure makes life easy when they ask for it!

Now, think about your dental office…What is it about your dental office that keeps your patients coming back?  Do you do have impeccable service? What is it that you can do to keep patients returning to your office? What makes your dental practice irresistible?

Watch the video today and then talk with your office about what makes your dental office unique.

Many offices today offer “Laser Dentistry”.  What would happen if you offered laser dentistry?  Patients today want to know they are receiving the latest and best technology.

Do you offer Lifetime Whitening for your patients? Exactly what does that mean to your patients? Do they understand that Lifetime Whitening is a reward system for coming to their routine appointments?

What really matters is whom you want to serve in your community.  In addition, how will you use your irresistible services to get your message out to these people?

Think about the words that you use to communicate to your patients that make you irresistible and keep your patients coming back to YOUR office!

What makes your dental office irresistible? Please leave in the comments below.

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About Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Debbie Bittke square

In 2000, Debbie founded Dental Practice Solutions, a dental practice management business focused on creating profitable dental hygiene departments, as well as improving the total bottom line of the dental practice. She has been named as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants for 10 years in  row!

Debbie is a former clinical assistant professor at University of Southern California where to taught the senior dental hygiene students skills to treat periodontal patients. She also co-taught the practice management course  at USC from 200o-2002. (Until the school start PBL – Problem Based Learning)

Debbie has a team of experts to guide teams throughout the world to provide quality, patient centered practices that sustain profits for the life of their dental practice.

 

What Makes Your Dental Practice Irresistible?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

For most of my life, I lived in Orange County, California and I was a clinical hygienist in Newport Beach, California for more than twenty years.

If you are familiar with the area, what comes to mind when you think of Newport Beach, California or Orange County, California?

I looked up how people describe Orange County and here is a description I found:

“…an urban paradise in California where Amusement parks… Ice cream lovers and Soccer moms coincide and live with each other in peace and harmony.”  Orange County may be expensive, but it is a fun place to live!

Now, from a hygienist’s point of view and one who worked in Newport Beach, just think about this; there are actually patients who want their teeth perfect!  For the majority, that is what they want, and cost was not a factor!  It sure makes life easy when they ask for it!

Now, think about your dental office…What is it about your dental office that keeps your patients coming back?  Do you do have impeccable service? What is it that you can do to keep patients returning to your office? What makes your dental practice irresistible?

Watch the video today and then talk with your office about what makes your dental office unique.

Many offices today offer “Laser Dentistry”.  What would happen if you offered laser dentistry?  Patients today want to know they are receiving the latest and best technology.

Do you offer Lifetime Whitening for your patients? Exactly what does that mean to your patients? Do they understand that Lifetime Whitening is a reward system for coming to their routine appointments?

What really matters is whom you want to serve in your community.  In addition, how will you use your irresistible services to get your message out to these people?

Think about the words that you use to communicate to your patients that make you irresistible and keep your patients coming back to YOUR office!

What makes your dental office irresistible? Please leave in the comments below.