A Patient Charting Primer

Create more accurate clinical records with the visual tools in the Dentrix Patient Chart. 

Updated 10/29/21

When you are traveling down the path to a paperless office, the computer is your patient chart, and your clinical documentation is all stored electronically. You no longer have your blue and red indelible pencils to draw in the existing fillings, put Xs on the missing teeth, and mark up the tooth chart the way you want it. The goal with an electronic chart, as with a traditional paper chart, is to make it as accurate as possible so that as the doctor walks in for the exam or discusses the treatment plan, mistakes aren’t made based on inaccurate information.

This article teaches some of the tips and tricks you can do with Dentrix to make the patient chart look as accurate as possible.

A Few Charting Tips

Remember when you were treatment planning that occlusal pit composite filling or the MOD that covered the entire mesial cusp, and you could get out your colored pencils and color away? You can do the same thing in the Dentrix Patient Chart. As you treatment plan the procedure, from the Select Surface dialog box, just click the Cusps/Pits button to expand the dialog box, select the paint surfaces you want, and click OK.

If the filling has already been treatment planned and you want to change the look of the filling, right-click the tooth in the Patient Chart, and then click Edit Surface Painting in the shortcut menu. In the Edit Surface Painting dialog box, make the needed changes, and click OK.

Remember in the paper chart you could pick up your pencil and draw in a lingual bar retainer or circle something you wanted to remember? With the Chart Notations, you can do exactly that. On the Chart module tool bar, click the Chart Notations icon and then click Edit Notations. The Dentrix Notations palette appears. Select the color and size of pen you want, such as a Fine Point Pen. Use your mouse to freehand draw on the tooth in the Patient Chart. If you want to erase your drawings, select the eraser tool.

What about the patient who had 4-bi extractions during ortho when they were a teenager? You don’t want it to look like they have missing teeth. What about the patient who has a large diastema between 8 and 9? Using Conditions in the Procedure Codes palette, you can create a visual picture of the patient’s mouth.

Here are some common conditions to use:

  • 15000 Mesial Drifting: Use this for missing teeth when the space has been closed. This paint type will put arrows to show the space has been closed.
  • 15112/15113 Mesial/Distal Open Contact: Use this for diastemas and open space between teeth.
  • 15114 Unerupted: Use this condition when the tooth is below the gum line. (Using this condition will also cause the Perio Chart to skip the tooth.)

As you explore the features and capabilities of the Dentrix Patient Chart, you’ll discover how easy it is to create and maintain accurate charts as you continue down the path towards a paperless office.

Learn More

To learn more about the Dentrix Patient Chart, see the Patient Chart Overview topic in Dentrix Help.

By Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.