If you have seen my previous posts you can hopefully see by now that I take great pride in my verbal and written explanations to patients. However it came to my attention very recently that one area this was falling short of the high expectations I set for myself was during exams when discussing all the normal findings. Until just a few weeks ago I tended to keep this to a minimum and just focus on the problems I had found. But I now realise this is a significant oversight. By explaining each stage of your assessment either as you do it or just after sitting the patient up you are highlighting all the things you have just checked, reaffirming how thorough you are and giving the patient the opportunity to comment on each point if they wish.
So now my explanation with patients goes something like this:
After that you make sure the patient understood all that and check to see if they have any questions before going on to give great OHI hopefully using both an OHI postcard and a custom demo model 😉.
This process doesn't take long and you should easily have time for it if there are no issues to report but it should hopefully minimise the problem that I know some dentists encounter when patients feel short changed because their exam was only 10 minutes long and the dentist barely talked to them. And it also really helps if there is lots to talk about because you will be used to approaching each topic in a systematic way therefore making it easier to ensure no points are missed.
If you are already doing something similar I would love to hear about it. If not then I would suggest you give it a try for yourself.
Dr Chris Harper