Dental block scheduling is a win-win for both patients and the dental practice. More patients can be treated and in less time with block scheduling. The dental team also knows what to expect each day and how to schedule each day. What more could we ask for?
Create Your Dream Day!
How is your dental restorative schedule doing right now? Are you meeting office production goals? Are you happy with the way the day is going overall? Do you find the team is stressed or feeling that there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that is in the schedule?
- Calculate how many “major” procedures you need each day to reach production goals. The idea is to reach target goals with just major procedures. Each dentist needs a different amount of time for procedures. Identify doctor time and assistant time. Set the block accordingly.
- For a great schedule, you need to know who is where when. When is the doctor free to see another patient? When are the dental assistants making temporary crowns or taking impressions?
Keep New Patients in Mind
- Add 2 blocks for new patients. One block in the morning and one in the afternoon. Again, identify the x-ray and assistant time on the appointment block. Then add the time for your dentist to do the exam. New patient blocks tend to take up time in the schedule. And that is why we work to reach production goals with major production blocks.
Factor in Emergency Patients
- Next, you want 2 blocks for emergency care. Decide how much time you want to allow for emergency care. And I would recommend one of these blocks in the morning and another in the afternoon. Don’t worry if you don’t use both. Most likely, you are not blocking a lot of time for these emergency appointments. And remember, you have already reached your production goal!
Dental Block Scheduling Allows You to Move “Like” Appointments Forward
Once you have created the blocks in your dental restorative schedule, don’t be quick to fill an open major restorative appointment with a basic or tertiary dental appointment! If a crown patient reschedules their appointment, move forward another crown appointment. Or schedule a higher production appointment in that open time.
Another New Patient Emergency Opportunity
It’s also possible to plug an emergency patient into a major restorative appointment. Sometimes, an emergency patient will call with a broken tooth and need to be seen soon. You can tell from the patient’s description of the dental emergency that they may need a crown. Of course, this takes some experience and judgement, too. But if you are in a place where you feel you are a good judge of guessing what might be needed, and can perform treatment right away, make it so!
Your Quick Call List
Keep a great call list of patients willing or wanting to move their major restorative appointments forward. Ask each & every restorative patient you schedule if they would like to be notified of any schedule changes in order to move their appointment forward. You’ll be so glad you did! Knowing who is available at short notice to move their appointment forward when will save your schedule many times!
One team member should be responsible for the majority of scheduling. One person needs to be accountable and oversee the restorative schedule.
The more hands that are involved in the schedule, the messier and less organized the day becomes. However, you do want everyone on the team to understand the basics of scheduling and what your block scheduling looks like.
There is a definite balance to the schedule working well. Open and constant communication with the entire team is beneficial.