Tuesday, 22 March 2011 15:07
Michael D. Goldstein, DDS, FAGD
It’s impossible to pick up a journal or attend a dental seminar without being exposed to a host of ideas about how to “predictably” improve your efficiency and increase your income. Upgrading to the latest laser technology, learning efficient endo or implant techniques, and becoming a recognized cosmetic dentistry expert are just a few of the techniques often discussed. One seldom-mentioned subject is the periodic oral evaluation (0120), often called the recall or recare exam.
Think about it. If a dentist works 200 days per year with one dental hygienist who averages caring for eight recall patients per day, that dentist will perform 1,600 recall examinations per year. With two dental hygienists, that works out to 3,200… you get the idea. If it were possible to trim just four-minutes from each examination, a dentist working with one dental hygienist could potentially save 106.66 hours per year, or the equivalent of 13.33 eight-hour workdays. Since an average dentist’s time at chairside is worth $300 + per hour, I calculate a potential savings of at least $32,000 per year. Of course, if a dentist has more than one dental hygienist working with him or her, the savings would be greater. All that extra income for just making a few strategic changes to the way the recall examination is conducted. And as an extra bonus, the recall examination will be stress-free.