Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Avoid the awkward moment of not having the lab case

Joe walks in for his scheduled appointment to deliver his nightguard and your dental assistant escorts Joe to the treatment room, puts his bib on and lets him know she would be right back to deliver his nightguard. Ashley goes back to the lab area to locate Joe’s nightguard only to find that his nightguard is not at the office. She frantically calls the lab to find out where Joe’s nightguard is and the response is, “We can have it to you by tomorrow.” Well, that’s not good enough. You need it today. How did this happen? Where was the breakdown in communication?

This common situation can be avoided with a couple tweaks in your system. Your Dentrix software can help you track both the patient appointment and the lab case.

Any time the patient has an impression for something, there will need to be a delivery or seat appointment scheduled. Either the patient will be scheduled or the patient will wait for your call to schedule when the case comes in. When you create the appointment, make sure to include all the details of the appointment and attach the lab case to the appointment. For all the details of how to use the Lab Case Manager, refer back to my blog called “What is the Status of the Lab Case?”

If the patient is scheduling, you are good to go and you will see an icon with a blue L with a white background on the appointment so you can easily see if the case is in the office or still out. When the lab case is set as received, the icon will turn into a white L with a green background.

Now, if the patient is not scheduling, then I would recommend doing all the above steps … except put the appointment on the Wait/Will Call list so you have a way of tracking the appointment. This will hold the appointment on the Unscheduled List so you have a way of keeping track of it. For more information on the Unscheduled List, please click here.

Good tracking systems will ensure that your patients don’t walk in for an appointment when your team is not prepared and will avoid those awkward moments when you have to let Joe know that he will have to reschedule to another day. 

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 and contact Dayna at

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