SPECIFICS OF MANAGEMENT
This will usually occur by telephone, through the receptionist.
Always remember that the “voice on the end of the line” may be the first contact that the patient – who is often nervous – has with the practice. Regardless of mood, the telephone voice must be bright, friendly and efficient. Remember, “you only have one chance to make a first impression, smile into the telephone”.
The contact letter gives the patient the following information:
- The nature of the practice.
- The approximate fee to be incurred for examination and consultation.
- The type of fees that have been incurred recently by patients for treatment at two ends of the treatment spectrum, such as a three unit bridge and full mouth reconstruction.
- A request to contact the practice for appointments, if the foregoing is acceptable, or confirmation of the consultation appointment if already made.
- Initial questionnaires.
Examples of contact letters:
I understand from my secretary that you have contacted the practice to make an appointment for consultation. It would be helpful to give you some information prior to the appointment. I am located at the above address, the nearest stations are Oxford Circus and Bond Street, there are car parks in Queen Anne Street and Cavendish Square. I have with me two full time dental technicians, a dental hygienist, my secretary and my chairside assistant. The practice is directed primarily towards the treatment of adult patients, with or without gum disease, who require restorative dentistry, and to the treatment of patients referred for temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction.
Routinely, new patients are referred to the London Imaging Centre located on the ground floor of Lister House, for a Panoral X-ray (at approximately …) which gives an overall view of the teeth and jaws.
For those patients requiring restorative care, an examination is carried out at the consultation appointment. This includes, wherever necessary, further X-rays of individual teeth. The fee for such an examination is usually … and at the end of it an explanation of the nature of any problems found, will be given. If the necessary treatment is relatively simple and straightforward, a plan of treatment can be prepared and an estimated fee given for such treatment. If, in addition, a lengthy report is to be forwarded to a referring dentist or doctor, then an additional fee would be incurred, usually in the range of … to … .
When a more complex approach to treatment is necessary it is frequently impossible to give details of a plan of treatment until further thought has been given to the problems. This usually requires fabrication of models of the mouth, which are placed on an instrument to copy the movements of the jaw and require work by one of the technicians prior to time being spent in your absence for more detailed planning. Following this, a report would be forwarded to you for consideration. If such an approach is required, additional fees in the region of up to … could be incurred.
When a patient is referred regarding the feasibility of using implants to support bridgework and the initial consultation indicates that it may be possible, it would usually be necessary to use the services of the London Imaging Centre for a further, more extensive computerized X-ray examination. This could incur fees to the London Imaging Centre of … for investigation of both jaws. It would then be necessary to plan a more complex approach to treatment, as described above.
For your information, patients who have been treated over the last two years and who have required a relatively straightforward three unit bridge at the back of the mouth have incurred fees in the region of … . Patients requiring full mouth reconstruction, such as the crowning of virtually every tooth, or replacement of crowns and bridges around the whole mouth, have incurred fees in excess of … which have been spread over the treatment period. This is not an estimate for any treatment that you may require, but is intended to give you an idea of the sort of commitment that patients have entered into in this practice.
I would be grateful if you would confirm your consultation appointment by returning the attached forms in the stamped addressed envelope provided, to arrive no later than 10 days prior to your appointment. If we are not in receipt of this confirmation, the appointment time will be allocated to another patient.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Yours sincerely …
I understand from my secretary that you have contacted the practice to make an appointment for consultation. It would be helpful to give you some information prior to the appointment. I am located at the above address and have with me two full-time dental technicians, a dental hygienist, my secretary and chair-side assistant. The practice is primarily directed towards the treatment of adult patients who require restorative dentistry, with or without gum disease, and to the treatment of patients referred for temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction.
Routinely, new patients are referred to the London Imaging Centre on the ground floor of Lister House for a panoral X-ray (at approximately …) which gives an overall view of the teeth and jaws.
An initial consultation for patients referred for temporomandibular joint problems, will usually incur fees in the region of …. At this time it is usually possible to give an outline of a proposed plan of treatment. Frequently, this will include the recommendation of occlusal splint therapy – a plastic bite guard. It is never possible to be absolutely precise as to how many visits will be required for adjustment of such an appliance, but to give you a guide, patients recently requiring such treatment have incurred fees in the region of …. Some of this may be recoverable from your insurance company. If it has been necessary to include dental hygiene appointments with adjustment visits of the splint, these have on average incurred fees in the region of ….
These fees are not estimates for your treatment, but are intended to give you an idea of the type of commitment that patients have recently entered into.
I would be grateful if you would confirm your appointment by returning the enclosed forms in the stamped addressed envelope provided, no later than 10 days prior to your appointment. Unless we are in receipt of this confirmation, the appointment time will be allocated to another patient.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Yours sincerely …
|Address of medical or dental practitioner||Telephone no.|
|Present dentist||Telephone no.|
Please complete the following. Use additional pages, if necessary.
- Could you please give me a brief outline of the nature of your current problem.
- Could you please give me an outline of any relevant past dental experience.
- Is there any other relevant information that you think would be helpful?
- Please complete the attached medical questionnaire (Fig 3-1a).
- Please complete the attached questionnaire (Fig 3-1b).