Managing Dental Emergencies Successfully & Sanely
Managing dental emergencies successfully begins with an accurate assessment. The dental front office team member must first learn what the dentist expects in their daily schedule.
Communication is key.
It’s critical for the front office team to know how the dentist wants emergency calls handled. The front office team also needs to know how to identify what emergency patients should be scheduled today and who can wait.
Define Dental Emergency for Your Team
Dental front office team members are not dentists. They don’t have the training or education that dentists have. However, they are on the front line.
Dental emergency patients reach the dental front office team first. Where does the dental front office team begin? Let’s begin with an assessment form. An assessment form will support the dental front office. And it will help get the dentist the information they need to make decisions about the schedule.
Managing Dental Emergencies Successfully With Assessment
Download my Dental Patient Assessment Form now. And let’s take a look at this to see what to do next. I’ll also help you with what to ask your dental emergency patients.
Decide Which Dental Emergencies Disrupt Your Day
Then, define which dental emergencies you allow to disrupt your daily schedule. Every patient deserves excellent care and attention. There is a balance to maintain. The dental patient in the chair for a 6 unit veneer appointment is important.
The patient on the phone with a broken tooth is important. So, how do we bring it all together. And how do we keep everyone happy and stay on schedule?
Managing Dental Emergencies Successfully with Block Scheduling
What do you want your schedule to look like? Create your block schedule, if you haven’t yet. Then, allow 2 spots for scheduled emergency care in each dentist’s schedule. Next, decide where you want to put those emergency patient blocks.
The important thing is to be sure you have these blocks in the best spot for your practice. And be sure you don’t schedule anything else in those emergency blocks.
Dental Emergencies That Can Wait
Patients who require urgent care but can wait a day, are placed on call. Let your patient know that you would be happy to call them with any schedule changes to move their appointment forward. (Avoid the word “cancellation” & stick to “schedule change”).
Some dental emergencies need a review by the dentist for urgency. Set aside a completed Dental Emergency Assessment Forms to review with the dentist.
Be sure to provide these forms to the dental assistants and dentist for same day schedules too! It’s great information for the team to have before the patient arrives.