The Five Levels of Entry to the Health Centered, Relationship Based: Tier IV Practice
The Five Levels of Dental Care - we offer to people who choose our practice. Robert L. Frazer, Jr., DDS
We understand that choosing a new dentist and dental health team can be a challenge, leaving you feeling somewhat uncertain. We are writing to welcome you, and to share more specifically our beliefs about what we do for people. A few years ago we wrote a philosophy or purpose for our practice. Briefly stated . . . .
“Our purpose is to help people achieve the highest level of well-being personally appropriate for them and in so doing to enhance the quality of their lives and our own.”
In other words, we help you be or become as healthy as you choose. This is a major departure from the way we were trained. Instead of telling you how healthy you ought to be, we will try to help you understand your choices about dental health and then let you make a free and informed choice. Your first choice in this regard is how you would like to begin with us. There are five levels on which people may choose to be seen in our practice.
Level 1 - Urgent Care
People in crisis or with an emergency problem such as pain, swelling, or bleeding who need immediate help. We see urgencies immediately, whenever possible. We maintain a 24 hour answering service with real people, not machines. One of the dentists is always on call.
Level 2 - Remedial/Cursory Care
People who choose this level of care desire treatment only when something breaks or becomes uncomfortable. Generally, people at this level prefer short-term cursory type of examinations, screening for very obvious more advanced problems. They usually want to correct immediate problems with as little effort and cost as possible, even though the treatment may not be a long-term solution. Folks at this level are not yet ready for a comprehensive examination and long-term treatment plan. Their motto might be, “Let’s just take care of what is wrong today and not worry about tomorrow.” These people may be counting on fate and luck to see them through, at least for the present.
Level 3 - Self Care
People choose this level of care if they want to keep their teeth a lifetime in good or excellent comfort, function, and appearance. People at this level choose to have a comprehensive examination, fully evaluating teeth, gums and supporting tissues, as well as, the dynamic relationship of the jaw to the continued health of the dental system. During this examination process we jointly formulate a long-term plan for their preferred dental future. However, due to the current life circumstances or beliefs, they will following a holding plan until they can proceed to a higher level. They are interested in what they can do, personally, to improve their dental health and arrest any active disease processes, but are not yet ready to commence major treatment. People at this level are monitored through frequent preventive maintenance visits with our hygienist.
Level 4 - Complete Dentistry
People at this level are similar to the people described above. They choose to have a comprehensive examination and formulate a long-term treatment plan designed to achieve a dental future of choice not chance. Unlike the Self-care person, they are ready to commence treatment. They also want to understand and control the causative agents of dental disease. Again, they interface closely with our preventive and hygiene departments before, during and after treatment.
Level 5 - Wellness Resource
People here are in excellent dental health. They want to see the hygienist one to four times per year, with complete monitoring examinations done annually by the dentist. These people practice highly effective levels of nutrition with home care and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our intent would be to assist these people in finding others in the community who might help them to attain even higher levels of personal well-being.
We hope these levels make sense to you. It is not uncommon for people to begin at a lower level and progress over time. If we can help with your decision regarding the level most comfortable for you to begin, please call us. We thank you for the opportunity to serve your dental needs and wants.
Yours for better health and well-being, Robert L. Frazer, Jr., DDS and Team
Note: Our Health Relationship Coordinator or another front office team member would guide the patient to a recommended level based on how they responded to questions about their reason for calling, added concerns, past dental history and desire to keep their teeth a lifetime.
In fact, it is often ideal for a person to begin where they feel safe at a lower level, if there is any reluctance to enter at the comprehensive level 3 or above. Our experience was that about half the time the level 2 patient decided to move to at least level 3 during their first visit. Some actually elected level 4. In those cases, we would sometimes begin records and the Pre-clinical if they had the time and we had the space.
Recall that we do not perform our clinical exam on their first visit for level 3, 4 and 5, except where there are "emergency" concerns. I resisted not examing on the first appointment when I first heard the late Bob Barkley advocate it, but when I finally did my case acceptance more than doubled!
Permission is granted for your personal use of the Levels of Entry / Care in your practice, but please give attribution if shared with others beyond your patients. It may not be reproduced for any other commercial purposes without the express written consent of R.L. Frazer & Associates, Inc. Thank you!
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Welcoming the New Patient to the Values Driven Practice
Learn how to make your appointments with new patients congruent with a values-driven, health-centered approach. Watch our highly effective new patient exam, pre-clinical and co-diagnosis appointments as well as follow-up consultation. Find out how to present fees, neutralize insurance, and increase case acceptance - all while using collaborative, low pressure techniques that make your patients feel welcome!
This 5 DVD set is the next best thing to taking our New Patient Experience Practicum!
In this program, we demonstrate a highly potent dental examination process that is congruent with health-centered, values-based, comprehensive dentistry and is essential for an evolving Tier III practice. You will see the pre-clinical appointment, the co-diagnosis and the consultation, with the doctor, key team members, and client in unrehearsed dialogue.
“The Pre-Clinical Appointment”
• This portion of the program powerfully demonstrates how a values-based, health-centered practice is first viewed hesitantly and then sincerely embraced by today's health-conscious consumer.
• Gain an extraordinary look into characteristic thoughts and feelings of a new patient and how staff can approach these effectively.
• Use this DVD to train your staff to increase case acceptance in a low pressure collaborative way!
Watch as a behaviorally skilled auxiliary interviews a new client during her first visit, a values-driven, comprehensive examination. Interspersed are snippets from a follow-up interview with the patient that reveal a sense of her mental and emotional experience of the appointment. Additional reflection with counseling psychologist and former Dentist Cliff Katz, DDS, Ph.D., follows.
“The Co-Diagnosis Appointment”
Once again we have a remarkable, unrehearsed appointment wherein the dental patient experiences a process of self-discovery and makes choices which will allow her to achieve the level of dental health she wants and values. You will see first-hand:
• How a behaviorally skilled auxiliary leads the new person through the comprehensive exam in a co-discovery process with her intraoral photos, models and films before the doctor arrives.
• The hand-off of the patient to the doctor for actual co-diagnosis.
• How the patient is empowered as she identifies and owns her dental problems, then how such ownership truly makes dental insurance of secondary importance.
• Explanations of complex occlusion, restorative, and periodontal conditions and choices in vivid lay terms, meant to empower the patient.
• In-depth dialogue between the client, team and doctor as they diagnose, prioritize, and explain treatment options and ask for closure regarding the choices she desires.
Dr. Cliff Katz again debriefs the client about her experience as she views the co-diagnosis tape of herself. Segments of their conversation are spliced in to provide insight into her experience of the process as it is happening.
“The Consultation Appointment”
See first-hand the follow-up appointment to the co-diagnosis.
• Learn how to discuss the treatment plan from a patient-centered point of view.
• Learn how the Health Relationship Coordinator easily quotes fees on a major case at the right time.
•See how to effectively discuss payment options and how to maximize the patient's insurance without accepting assignment.
This portion of the program was filmed live and unrehearsed during the clinical day of our three-day New Patient Experience Practicum. You will see our Health Relationship Coordinator, Sandy Zellers, consult with the patient in need of major restorative care, including the probability of a surgical phase. See how Sandy's non-verbal communication powerfully communicates a genuine sense of caring while conveying confidence and support for the doctor's recommendations.
See Angela Ward, Financial/Scheduling Coordinator, take the handoff and connect with the patient at the personal level, before beginning the actual financial discussion.
• Find out how to offer only one payment option at a time resulting in an optimal result for both the patient and our office.
• Learn what to say before quoting the fee to assure that the appropriate fee is presented, only after the patient's perception of value has been raised to the highest level.
• Discern how to deal with the patient's budgetary concerns and her desire to maximize her insurance benefit, without our accepting assignment.
For those of you striving to be a premier values-driven, health-centered practice, we believe this DVD set and related workbook are an invaluable addition to your continuing education repertoire. The workbook includes a completed consultation write up, a completed treatment plan and a completed chart as well as other support literature to show specifically how the treatment plan operates.
What you get: 5 DVD set (5 hours) and workbook. Two of the 5 DVDs are the unedited versions of the first two visits with all the raw footage for those who wish to view completely a critical segment of the tape without interruption.
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