When a patient visits your dental office, you’ll design a treatment plan that meets their unique needs and provides quality solutions. But what is a dental treatment plan, and what does it include? In this brief guide, we cover the basics of well-rounded treatment plans and what your patients can expect from them.
What Is a Dental Treatment Plan?
A dental treatment plan is essentially a roadmap for a client’s dental health. It outlines the recommended treatment for a patient’s teeth, how you plan to implement it, and the desired treatment outcome. You’ll need to lay out your plan in writing to make it available to others and store it for important medical records.
Dental professionals with new patients usually start creating a plan during the initial appointment. Dentists with regular, long-standing clients have an easier task regarding treatment planning—they already know the individuals and can recall their medical files. Dental treatment options can be long-term (such as with general oral healthcare) or short-term (such as with an isolated procedure like tooth reconstruction).
It may be difficult to design effective, easy-to-understand treatment plans. At Dental Intelligence, we can provide a template for dental treatment plans.
What Are the Phases of a Dental Treatment Plan?
At this point, you may wonder, “What is a dental treatment plan’s process?” Treatment plans include several critical phases, each with a unique purpose. Together, they address dental issues and help patients achieve optimal oral health.
Dental treatment plans consist of the following phases:
- Evaluation Phase: During this phase, you’ll inspect your client’s teeth and look for signs of oral health problems. You’ll also talk to them about their medical history and any concerns they may have regarding treatment.
- Acute Phase: If the patient has urgent dental issues, you’ll address them in the acute phase. Some treatments can wait until later, but you must focus on things like infected or cracked teeth immediately.
- Control Phase: Does your patient have an oral disease that may affect treatment or worsen because of it? The control phase is when you’ll take care of this. You won’t be able to effectively treat teeth if there’s an underlying condition like periodontitis.
- Re-evaluation Phase: Once you complete the control phase of the treatment plan and stabilize the patient’s dental health, you’ll need to re-evaluate. Double-check to ensure that the treatment has worked so far and prevented further issues.
- Definitive Phase: The definitive phase (sometimes called the restorative phase) is when you’ll apply fixes to the patient’s teeth such as realigning crooked teeth or treating gaps with implants.
- Maintenance Phase: Last but not least is the maintenance phase. During this final phase, you’ll monitor the patient’s dental health with regular checkups and tests. This helps track your progress and prevent other dental problems down the road.
What Types of Treatment Do Dental Treatment Plans Include?
Every dental patient walks through your doors with different needs and concerns. You can’t design a one-size-fits-all dental treatment plan because everyone is unique and requires a customized solution to their problem. However, plans typically include the following treatment options:
- Periodontal therapy
- Occlusal therapy
- Orthognathic surgery
Keep in mind that dental treatments can be scary for many patients. A treatment plan should be a collaborative effort between the patient and the dental practitioner. Always ask your patient if they have questions or concerns about a procedure before proceeding.
Tips for At-Home Dental Health Care
What is a dental treatment plan? It’s a clearly defined method to help your patients achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful teeth. You can only do so much during a six-month checkup, so a lot of dental health care must take place at home.
As you devise dental treatment plans, be sure to emphasize at-home care. Patients can prevent many oral health issues by following simple, practical steps, such as:
- Brushing teeth twice a day (especially after meals)
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Replacing your old toothbrush every few months
- Flossing with string floss or picks at least once daily
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash
- Avoiding sugary snacks and beverages
- Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco
- Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables
Improve Your Dental Practice with the Right Tools
At Dental Intelligence, we provide the insights and tools you need to intelligently shape the future of your practice. We help you get where you want your organization to go. Check out our state-of-the-art features like dental follow ups today!