In life and in orthodontics we are constantly given choices. How we negotiate our options cumulatively determines our results. The options may seem small at the time but they are the building blocks of our success or failure!
What am I talking about?
Let’s say you’re a progressive orthodontist and you realize that patients want braces put on the same day they come for the NP visit whenever possible (assuming they have good OH, no decay and don’t appear to be a crazy difficult case). If you embrace this “same day start” philosophy you will then be faced with a myriad of new situations and will have to choose among new and even unfamiliar options like, “Do I need an extra column and/or chair side assistant or do I just do it?”, “Do I put braces on a patient at 4:45 pm or schedule them for tomorrow?”, and the ever popular, “Do I just bond the upper arch to save time or bond both arches today?”.
Let’s take the simplest one and look at bonding both arches or just one. The knee jerk reaction from the staff and even the doctor is to bond just the upper arch (or sometimes less) to save time. This seems logical but it is poorly executed laziness and actually leads to more, not less work. Think about it. To bond one arch you must get the patient in the chair, prepare everything, isolate, etch, prime, place brackets, cure, place wires, etc. If you only bond one arch then you need TWO BONDING APPOINTMENTS instead of just one. If you bond both arches then it only takes about 15-20% more time than bonding both arches and saves you an entire bonding appointment (not to mention patient comfort).
What’s that you say? Bonding both arches takes you at least an hour or even more? Well, it shouldn’t take that long. It is possible to bond both arches in under 20 minutes with ease. Think that’s crazy or impossible – then you’re right (for your office anyway). Interested in how to improve and help the patient have a better experience by shortening the time they are in retractors? Awesome! Being open to new methods and ideas is the first step.
Start by being logical about your current process and think about how you can save time and effort on the global scale. Don’t let knee jerk reactions control you! We will discuss many of the topics raised in this post over the next few weeks. Stay tuned to learn how to supercharge your new patient and bonding process – just in time for the summer rush!