We have recently gone to chair side consults for new patients in our offices but in the process of working that out I came across the written procedure for how we used to do them. I think this list will be useful to those of you (most orthodontists) who see patients in a traditional, TC centered practice. This list is nothing special, it’s just a basic outline of everything that happens at the New Patient appointment and it served as a checklist for our TCs and for TC training. At minimum this list will be something you can use to evaluate what you do. As with anything I’m not saying this is the right way, just the way we did it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Patient walks into office,

front desk checks patient in and hands patient intake form

records coordinator/tc will grab patient for records

set patient back into lobby

records coordinator will bring records to tc

tc will pull up patient chart to asses chart and patient info

go get patient and give them the tour (Are you so excited for braces?)

bring patient to office and ask fundamental questions ( have you had a cleaning in the last 6 months? Who is your general dentist? Do you have any allergies to Latex or Metal? How did you hear about us? Who referred you?)

Ask additional discovery questions ( why do you want braces? How long has that been bothering you? Are you guys from around here?)

Set expectations that Dr. is going to come in and look at teeth set up gloves and mirror for Dr.

inform Dr. about patient (has the Dr. seen the pt/rp before? Are they afraid? Do they want braces? Do they play sports?

Dr. Looks at teeth with patient/responsible party

gives notes to tc

tc says “thanks Doc!” and Doc exits

tc explains that pt is ready to get braces on

asks pt if they are super duper excited now?

tell RP about our financing (we are interest free, we don’t do credit checks and we are all IN HOUSE FINANCING!!! explain that because we are all in house financing that we can be super flexible on our payment plans!

deduct any discounts (insurance, CDIB or IP) from total cost of tx.

Plug remainder into finance calculator

find a down payment and monthly payment that is in 6 month increments so it makes the first and last month payments easy to calculate

Pull up example of how to fill out a contract I sent you to double check yourself

Make sure to POST any down payment whether you post date it or make it today

make sure RP is on patient info as financially responsible






10 thoughts on “New Patient Process Delineated

  1. Great and efficient thanks for sharing. “find a down payment and monthly payment that is in 6 month increments so it makes the first and last month payments easy to calculate” confusing. why in 6 months? what if tx is 18 to 24 months?

  2. what records are taking before the doctor sees the patient? thanks

  3. I’ll have to ask Bridget to explain. It’s beyond me.

  4. With a TC setup we took photos a pano and a ceph and the doctor looked at them before going in the room

  5. thanks Ben. That seems to be good model, what is the reason to transfer to chair side consult model and what is the difference if any? thanks in advance.

  6. The better question is why the hell we think patients want to spend an hour in a new patient consultation doing all the stuff that we think is necessary? I looked at other sales processes with comparable price tags and they just do it standing over the merchandise so we changed and it’s been great. We don’t even take records until the patient says they want treatment so that saves a ton of time too. Sometimes I need a pano but not often.

  7. thank you. I agree 100%. So if a patient is ready for tx, he is escorted to a private room to go over finances? what is the proper sequence of the process?

  8. No we do everything at the chair – unless e are super busy then we might move them.

  9. Who does the follow up, for the patients that did not accept treatment the same day?

  10. The TC or the financial coordinator (because we don’t have TCs in some of our offices). Generally you wan the same person who sees the new patients to be responsible for it. Better to start the same day and not have to do recall. Good motivation for same day start

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