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Streamlined Protocols for Managing Big Cases: Ensuring Consistency and Patient Satisfaction in Dental Practice

Discover the streamlined approach to managing big cases in dental practice with a well-defined protocol that ensures consistent, efficient results and satisfied patients every time.

 

In our diverse practices, having a well-defined protocol and system for preparing for big cases ensures consistent results that meet patient expectations and outcomes every time.

In my practice, we initiate our checklist protocol as soon as a patient pays for their case. We assign one administrative team member and one clinical team member to each patient case. These team members manage the patient's case from start to finish.

 

Their responsibilities include identifying the lab technician I will use for the case, scheduling all patient appointments, and coordinating with the lab for smile design—whether digital or analog. This includes timing for sending scans and photos of the provisionals and scheduling the final seating. Planning ahead is crucial to avoid long waits for lab fabrication and to prevent patient frustration over delays.

 

Once the patient has paid, we schedule a meeting with the assigned administrative and clinical team members. During this meeting, they review a cover sheet with all appointment dates and times and walk the patient through the entire process—from preparation and provisionals to final delivery. The clinical team member also discusses pre-appointment oral sedation medication, driver consent, rinses, gels, and special instructions for caring for the temporaries. This is essential because we don’t want to cover these details the day after the big prep appointment when the patient, often medicated, may not remember anything. Instead, we ensure all information is provided in advance.

This cover sheet is added to the patient's chart and placed in their lab pan so that, on the day of the appointment, everyone knows the timeline for the case and the next appointment. Having a detailed timeline on the cover sheet helps me determine how soon I need to get my lab prescription out for each patient. This streamlined approach is much simpler than tracking down team members to ask when the patient is scheduled and what the lab’s return date will be. Having all this information on one single sheet is a lifesaver.

Whatever your workflow, a consistent protocol involving the entire team ensures patients understand the process and helps maintain consistency and efficiency.

The next live case presentation is on July 22nd at 8pm EST. Not a member? Join today to gain access.

During this 60-minute session, special guest Nelson Rego, CDT, AAACD and I will discuss implant esthetics and managing the single tooth challenge. 

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