Using the Treatment Manager to Keep Your Schedule Full

Learn how to fill openings in your schedule and increase production with the Treatment Manager.

On Monday morning Maria, the Office Manager at Happy Smiles Dentistry, comes in and looks at the Appointment Book for the day. She thinks, “Wow, my Appointment Book is full! I’m happy and the dentist is happy! We have a productive day to look forward to.”

But the happiness fades as the receptionist announces, “Mr. Jones just cancelled his crown prep!”

“Now what do I do?” Maria thinks. “It’s 9:00 a.m. and his appointment was scheduled for 11:00!”

The first list she checks is the ASAP list. When it is exhausted, she checks the Unscheduled List. When that, too, is exhausted, the next place she should check is the Treatment Manager. With the Treatment Manager, Maria can fill the hole in the schedule without the dentist realizing there was ever an opening until she lets her know that Mr. Jones had cancelled his 11:00 am appointment.

What is the Treatment Manager? The Treatment Manager is a secondary module within the Appointment Book and Chart modules. This module helps you search for treatment cases that meet your desired criteria so you can view patient and insurance information and schedule appointments. The Treatment Manager helps you fill openings in the Appointment Book and maximize your production totals.

Scheduling From The Treatment Manager

To open the Treatment Manager and generate the list, open the Appointment Book and select Options, then Treatment Manager. From the Treatment Manager View window, you can establish the criteria you are searching for to fill the holes in your Appointment Book.

Do you want to use any procedures to fill the holes, or do you only want to use crown codes? Do you want to focus on patients whose production is over a certain dollar amount? It is your choice to decide what will work best for your schedule and your production goals. You can also choose patients who have primary insurance, no insurance, and so forth so you can call patients who are likely to accept the open appointment.

When you click OK, the Treatment Manager will generate a list of patients with outstanding treatment procedures.

By default, the patients are listed in alphabetical order. You can click on the Last TP column heading, and it will sort the treatment with the oldest plan first. You will be able to view any remaining dental insurance benefits and if the patient has a scheduled appointment. Now your search begins! Multiple treatment plans at your fingertips! This module is for busy dental offices that need easy and quick access to fill the Appointment Book and increase the practice’s production.

When you double-click on any patient’s name in the Treatment Manager, the Family Appointment List dialog box appears.

The patient’s treatment plan is listed in the lower part of the dialog box. Call your patient and if the patient is ready to schedule his or her outstanding treatment, click Create New Appointment. You can make an appointment for your patient right from the Treatment Manager. It’s that easy.

Quick Letters From The Treatment Manager

If you choose to mail a letter to remind your patients that they have an outstanding treatment plan, Dentrix provides an easy solution. You can highlight the patient’s name, click the Quick Letters button, and select the letter you want to send.

Then, all you have to do is click Print. This letter will remind your patients they have outstanding treatment and tell them the amount (if any) of insurance benefits that are remaining. Sending these letters to patients helps you increase productivity.

Note: By default, the Treatment Plan Reminder letter is not available in Quick Letters. To add that letter to Quick Letters so you can access it from the Treatment Manager, click the Quick Letters button to open the Quick Letters dialog box and click New . In the New Quick Letter dialog box, type “Treatment Plan Reminder” in the Letter Name field. Type “dtxlm21.doc” in the Merge Letter Template field. Select the privacy request settings you want and click OK.

This simple process of sending treatment reminder letters also includes printing labels from Dentrix. You don’t have to write out names and addresses on envelopes–you can create mailing labels for each letter with Quick Labels. In the Treatment Manager, highlight the patient’s name, click the Quick Labels button, select the label you want to create, and click Print. You just have to peel and stick.

Creating a Letter Merge of Treatment Plan Reminder Letters

If you choose to send out treatment plan reminder letters in bulk, you can use the Letter Merge feature in the Office Manager. To create a letter merge, click Letters, then Misc., and then select Treatment Plan Reminder from the list. Click Create/Merge. To search the database for patients who fit the criteria and create the letters, mark Create Data File and Merge Letters and click OK.

Other Treatment Manager Options

Because the Treatment Manager is a secondary module in Dentrix, you can access any other Dentrix module from the toolbar in the Treatment Manager. With a mouse click, you can easily switch between modules to view patient balances, treatment cases, insurance information, and patient’s dental activity.

The Treatment Manager is accessible from the Appointment Book and the Patient Chart. Next time your office is having difficulty filling holes in the Appointment Book, use the Treatment Manager to optimize your schedule and increase your daily production.

Learn More

To learn more about using the Treatment Manager, see the Treatment Manager overview topic in the Dentrix Help.

Read “Mining for Gold: Three Reports for Searching Out Unscheduled Treatment” for more ideas about finding patients to fill your schedule.

Attend a Dentrix Seminar or Workshop to get more information about treatment planning and tips about schedule management. Visit for a list of available courses.

By Cindy Day, Field Training Manager

Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Spring 2011