I wanted to give a shout out to Liisa Moore, RDH, who practices in an Orthodontic office in Sudbury, ON and is our Orthodontic course presenter and QA Coach!
Liisa is the type of dental hygienist who has stepped out of her comfort zone and is excited to do more, learn more and give more.
After watching a webinar over the weekend that I presented (and is recorded), with Beth Parkes, on 'The 8 Simple Secrets to Implementing Lasers into Your Dental Hygiene Practice/Department', Liisa was inspired when I spoke about delivering the 'wow factor' and making the best experience possible for your client.
Liisa emailed me this week's blog even before asking me if she can write for us this week. I just love when I see someone taking initiative and being proactive! This is truly the Easy Button experience for me!
Pearl, is there something that you can do in your practice to step out of your comfort zone, be proactive and be the Easy Button for your practice?
This week's blog is brought to you by Liisa Moore, RDH:
Let’s set the scene, you have your client in your chair about to start their appointment, when they mention they have been considering orthodontics for themselves or their child. If your office does not offer orthodontic treatment the place to start is with a referral to the orthodontist.
Let’s look at how to make the referral process as smooth as possible for your office, the orthodontic office, and your client.
The most important thing to include in your referral is of course, the client’s information, so please make sure address, phone number, date of birth and spelling of client’s name is correct. If your client is a child also highlighting or stating the preferred phone number such as “Mom’s Cell”, or “Dad’s work” is important. Having this information current and easily accessible ensures a quick response from the orthodontic office and the client getting an appointment booked in a timely manner.
If the client prefers to be called by a short form for example Bob instead of Robert, or if the client has a name that could be pronounced in different ways such as Mia, include a phonetic spelling beside the name on the referral; M-eye-a or Me-a. This will make life much easier for the receptionist making the first contact call and also show the client the respect of being addressed as they prefer to be.
Include any radiographs with the date they were taken. It does not matter how old the radiographs are, it is still important to include the most recent ones with your referral. Perhaps your client does not want radiographs taken or they may only have insurance coverage for them to be taken every few years. Having some radiographs is always better than none.
Ask the client what their chief concern is; spacing, crowding, pain while chewing etc. Also list what concerns you and or the dentist have regarding that client; malocclusion, impacted teeth etc. Having this information prepares the orthodontist to not only address the referring parties concerns but, the clients reasons for seeking treatment as well.
What type of treatment is the client interested in? Traditional braces? Clear aligner therapy? Having this information included on the referral can help the orthodontic team plan for the client’s appointment by not wasting time discussing treatment options that the client is not interested in.
Finally take the time to research the orthodontic office that you are referring to. Know the location, name of the doctor, and what kind of technology the office is using. Giving this information to your client gives them the opportunity to do their own research on the office by checking out their website and social media pages. Inter-professional collaboration is an important part of our profession to ensure the client has the most information possible and can make an informed choice regarding their oral health care.
To learn more on Orthodontics such as when to refer, orthodontic treatment options, how brackets and bands are placed, and much more join me for our next course Orthodontics 101 for the Dental Hygienist.
Thank you for contributing to the On-Track Tuesday blog, Liisa!
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Thank you for reading and have a great week ahead! Please take a look below for what is coming up!