It is important to have an overall approach to management and in all but the simplest of cases there will be eight stages initially, namely:
1) Initial contact.
4) Initial collation of data and initial diagnosis.
5) Initial communication with the patient.
6) Specific collation and diagnosis.
7) Formulation of the treatment plan.
8) Secondary communication with the patient.
Each of these stages will be described briefly in this chapter and then in more detail in Chapter 3.
Wherever possible the source of referral should be known. With referrals from a colleague, a letter together with an up-to-date panoral radiograph is helpful. The letter, plus the radiograph, should give some indication as to the nature of the problem. A contact letter sent from the practice to all new patients is most helpful.
The history may be efficiently taken in two stages:
1) Initial Questionnaire
Filled out prior to the appointment, either at home or in the waiting room. It comprises a medical history, a background to the present problem, and relevant personal information, such as address, phone number, and so on. A pain dysfunction questionnaire may be of value1 for patients complaining of facial pain/limitation of movement of the jaw. If not previously completed by the patient, fifteen minutes are allocated, prior to the appointment, to complete />