Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Creating a Surface Watch


When you are transitioning from a paper chart to a digital record, you want the patient tooth chart to accurately represent the patient’s mouth. This is the case for documenting existing restorations, missing teeth and areas of concern. These areas of concern, or as some people call “watches,” are especially important because you want to make sure you can easily read them, and they give a clear picture of what you are watching.

A “watch” in Dentrix terminology is considered a condition and will mark the tooth with a W, circle the tooth or could put a big box around it. Many of the doctors I work with ask me if there is a way to do a “surface watch” so they can see the exact surfaces they are watching. My response is “Yes, you can.” You can have two different types of watches — you could have a tooth or area watch and you can also have a surface watch. This way, it will paint differently on the tooth chart.


The condition codes are created in the Procedure Code setup and you can create new ones or edit the existing ones. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Procedure code setup > scroll down to the Conditions category and find the Watch code and click on edit. In the lower middle of the window, there is a drop-down menu for Paint Type. This is where you can select how you want the condition to paint on the tooth chart. With the Watch Tooth condition, you can decide to put a W on the tooth chart or have it circle the tooth. It’s your choice.
What if you want to create a surface watch so it will show the surfaces of the tooth you are watching? That is easy! Select New Code and fill in the appropriate items in the setup and you will have two kinds of watches.

Here are the important things to fill in when you are creating new condition code . . .
  • Give it a description – Surface Watch
  • Give it an ADA code – This can be anything you want. All the conditions are numbers so you could use 15116, which is the next one in line with the Dentrix default list.
  • Give it an abbreviated description – SurfW or something like that
  • Under Treatment Flags, select Condition and Show in Chart
  • Procedure Category – Conditions
  • Treatment Area – Surface
  • Paint Type – Surface Restoration (solid, hatched or outline)

Now open your chart and refresh your chart. You can now add your new condition code to your Procedure Buttons and you will find it in the list of Conditions in the Procedure Code List.


Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Never lose your original treatment plan estimates


I remember when I was working in a practice and, at the time, we were still primarily using paper charts. However, we were dabbling in going paperless. Our protocol with treatment planning was to print out two copies of the treatment plan estimate — one for the patient and one for the chart. This worked well because we always seemed to write notes on the treatment plan estimate so it was nice to be able to look back on that print out in the chart to see what we had talked about with the patient.

Then, one day, a patient asked me for a copy of his original treatment plan at the completion of his dental work because he had lost his copy. I am not sure what happened to our protocol, but I could not find our original copy. There was nothing in the paper chart and I was stuck. Once all the treatment is completed, you can never retrieve that original estimate and be able to re-create it for the patient record. This was a good learning lesson for me and something I pass on to clients every day.

Now, I always print one copy of the treatment plan estimate for the patient and print one to the Document Center for safe keeping. This way, I know that it will always be available to look back on and print it again if the patient requests it. I also found out that there is a note box on the digital copy within the Document Center where I can make notes about the financial arrangement or any other special notes that I want to remember.

This is one of the most brilliant features of Dentrix is the ability to do a “virtual print” with any kind of document to the Document Center without having to scan. This saves time and storage on your server drive. This feature is simple to use and I can send you a tip sheet as a reference guide if you would like. Just email me directly at dayna@raedentalmanagement.com and I will send it to you.

When you are printing a document or a treatment plan estimate, select the printer called “Print to Dentrix Document Center” and your document will then be stored in the Unfiled Documents folder on the Document Center. Now you can attach that document directly into the patient’s Document Center for safe keeping.



Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's Tax Time! Here is Help on Printouts for Patients


Don’t you just love this time of year . . . tax season!  Patients are calling in asking for a printout of their account to send along with their taxes and receipts to prove they spent money using their HSA account.  It has been over a year since the last time you had to generate these printouts for your patients, so you might have forgot.  


I want to try and make it easy for you.  Instead of printing an account ledger, which can be extremely confusing to patients and usually does not give the government what they want, I am going to show you two alternative options. You can also use the second option for patients who are looking for statements to report to their HSA accounts.
  1. The first option is if the patient does not need the year-end statement to have ADA codes. Open the Ledger > File > Search Payments. This will open a new window where you will select the parameters for your search (date range, guarantor name, payment types, etc.), then select Print.
  2. The second option is if you need a payment history that includes ADA codes (most HSA plans want the ADA codes included). First, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences and make sure the “use ADA codes in description” is checked. Next, from the Office Manager > Reports > Billing, we are going to create a customized billing statement as a year-end print out.
    • Change the Statement Date to the end of the report year (12/31/2017) and the Beginning Balance Forward date to the beginning of the year (1/1/2017)
    • Select the Guarantor family only
    • Set the Minimum Balance to Bill to 0
    • Uncheck all options
    • Clear out the Statement Message
    • Uncheck Save as Default


Don’t forget April 17th is tax deadline for filing your own taxes, UGH!



Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.