Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Customizing the Patient Chart to Work For Your Team

When your clinical team is treatment planning in the operatories, it’s best to give them tools to help them do so quickly and accurately. Hygienists and assistants have limited time during patient appointments and need to be able to enter treatment-planned procedures quickly. It’s also very important that it’s done accurately by selecting the correct procedure codes. If the correct procedure codes aren’t selected during the treatment planning, you risk charging the patient the wrong procedure code.

Here are some ways you can customize the Patient Chart in Dentrix to give your clinical team the tools they need to be successful.

Customizing Procedure Buttons

Customizing procedure buttons in the Dentrix Patient Chart can help to ensure that the correct procedure codes are entered. You can control the code that is being treatment planned by setting up procedure buttons. For example, there are several codes for a crown, but you want your staff to only select the codes for the types of crowns you do in your office. Set up a procedure button for the correct code and assign it an icon that looks like a crown. This way you can ensure the correct code is used. 

Utilizing Multi-Codes

I love multi-codes! They make it so much faster to treatment plan procedures that involve more than one procedure code. For example, I have a multi-code set up for an implant (D6010), abutment (D6056), and implant supported crown (D6058). I only have to post that one multi-code and all the individual procedures are treatment planned in the patient's Chart. Multi-codes can be set up in the Office Manager, and they can also be used for procedure buttons.

Customize Procedure Codes

You can also edit procedure codes in the Office Manager. The Paint Type you select within the Procedure Code Editor determines how the procedure code is displayed on the patient’s graphic Chart. I’ve found that having paint types set up properly can help clinical staff to visualize a treatment plan. For example, a bridge procedure should have a Bridge paint type in order for it to look like a bridge as opposed to a single unit crown on the graphic Chart.

Also, in the Procedure Code Editor, you can uncheck the box next to Show in Chart, which will remove the procedure code from the Procedure Code List in the Patient Chart. I find that the Procedure Code List can be intimidating for some team members, so it can be beneficial to remove codes that you never use in your office. 

As a dental office manager, I feel that its my responsibility to provide my team with the tools and training to help them be their best. Customizing and simplifying the Patient Chart to help them treatment plan more efficiently can help them to do this process more quickly and more accurately. 

For more information on this topic, e-mail me at

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

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