Every patient is unique and making sure his or her tooth chart accurately represents his or her uniqueness is important when you are transitioning from that paper document to the digital document. Patients have diastemas, missing teeth, unerupted teeth, retained primary teeth and lots of other situations that you want to document on the tooth chart. How do you keep it all straight and chart it as accurately and quickly as possible?
Using the Dentrix conditions is a way that you can chart all those unique features that you find and want to make note of. You can customize the conditions with different paint types, edit the description and add them to your quick buttons for faster charting. In this article, I am going to go through a few of the common conditions and show you some screen shots of what it might look like on the tooth chart.
- Diastema – The default condition in Dentrix for Diastema is Open Contact. So if you look in your list of Conditions and find open contact, that is the best one to use. If you want to edit the description, you can go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup > select the Conditions category, select the Open Contact and click on Edit. Then you can edit the description to say Diastema if you want.
- Missing tooth, closed space – If you have a patient who had a four-bi extraction as a kid and the orthodontist closed the space, you can use the Drifting Mesial condition to show that the space has been closed. This could also be used if a patient lost a tooth and the teeth have moved into the open spot.
- Unerupted tooth – If your patient has a 3rd molar or another tooth that has not fully erupted yet, you can use the condition Unerupted tooth. I have seen offices either use the U on the tooth to mark it or circle the tooth. You can choose what works best for you. If you want to change how it paints on the tooth chart, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup > select the Conditions category, select the Unerupted and click on Edit. Then there is a drop-down menu for Paint Type.
If you have a patient with a retained primary tooth, then you would highlight the tooth and click on the Primary/Permanent icon on the tool bar and click on Change Selected to just change that one tooth. Other options here would be changing all the teeth to primary or all to permanent.
I think having an accurate picture of your patient’s dentition helps with the visual aspect and makes the perio chart more accurate. Now that many offices are using the digital record instead of paper, it is important that you treat the digital chart with as much detail as the paper chart.