Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dentrix Continuing Care, Part 1 of 3

An effective recall system is an important part of any dental practice. It is the key to a successful hygiene department. Although many offices try to pre-appoint patients before they leave the office, there are usually patients who don’t schedule or who cancel their appointments. It is crucial to have a good tracking system for patients so that you can follow up.

Dentrix Continuing Care is designed to do just that. It tracks when a patient last had a continuing care procedure, like a prophy or x-rays, and when they are due next. If it is set up correctly, Dentrix will prompt you to schedule the patient’s next appointment and patients will show up on continuing care lists which you can use to find patients without a scheduled appointment. I have found some offices don’t know how to properly set up continuing care initially so that Dentrix does the work for you.

A continuing care type is a term used to describe specific procedures that are completed on a recurring schedule for the patient. For example, a continuing care type named PROPHY could consist of a cleaning and an exam every six months. A continuing care type is tied to a procedure code. When you set that procedure code complete from the Appointment Book, Dentrix will ask you if you want to create a new continuing care appointment. You can use this feature to schedule the patient’s next appointment. If the procedure code is not set up correctly with the continuing care attached, Dentrix can’t function as designed.

To check which continuing care type a procedure code is attached to, open the Dentrix Office Manager. Click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup. Find the procedure code and click Edit. Highlight the Continuing Care Type you want to assign to this procedure code then click Select. Save the changes you made in the Procedure Code Setup and Close.


It is important to note that a procedure code can only be attached to one continuing care type.  For example, the code D1110 (Adult Prophy) can’t be attached to both the PROPHY and PERIO continuing care types. 

However, a continuing care type can be attached to multiple procedure codes. 


For example, if you attached procedure code D1110 to the continuing care type PROPHY, you can also have procedure code D1120, a Child Prophy, attached to the same PROPHY continuing care type. 

Once these procedure codes are attached to the PROPHY continuing care type, any time a patient has D1110 or D1120 set complete from the Appointment Book, Dentrix will prompt you to schedule their next appointment for those procedures and the Dentrix Continuing Care system will calculate their next due date according to the interval you’ve set up for that patient and that continuing care type.

Join me next week and we will talk about how to customize Dentrix Continuing Care intervals on an individual patient basis. As always, feel free to contact me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


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