Have you taken a look at your hygiene schedule for the next few months? Like many general dentists right now, it is probably very empty and not productive. One of my clients told me that he had 543 empty hygiene appointments in September!! Ugh! What is needed right now is extraordinary attention to this matter. If you do not fix this right now, you will feel its echoes every six months for possibly several years. Of course you know that the hygiene schedule affects the doctor’s restorative schedule too!

Some dental office managers decided in March, April, May and June when the office was closed to all but emergency treatment (and, for some offices, all treatment) to do the outrageous thing of rescheduling all the hygiene patients 6 months from their previous appointment, into September, October, November and December. They were thinking, “At least we are getting our patients in the schedule – even if they are a year from their last appointment!” Who knew that this Covid-19 emergency would last so long! Six months came so soon, and those practices are sitting pretty right now with a full schedule of hygiene patients!! Who knew??

For the rest of you, I have several suggestions for what you should do now. Like most offices, if all of the patients in late March, April, May and early June were just cancelled out of the schedule, the best thing you can do now is to go back to September, October, November and December 2019 and lead your staff into seeing that all of those patients have a hygiene appointment in the schedule now. You probably can print out those schedules from the computer. It really is a lot of work, but the entire staff can help with that.

To also assist with this process, it would be a good idea to sign up with Dental Intel’s Local Med add-on application. Texts and emails are sent out to these patients and then the patient is encouraged 24 hours a day to schedule their own hygiene appointment on-line for their convenience. This will help fill the schedule in addition to the staff working on this every moment that they can.

You can do this! Now get going!