Verbal charting increases patient engagement
By Amber Auger, RDH, MPH
Hygienists are often faced with the challenge of completing a comprehensive periodontal charting on our own. Many of us have struggled to keep barriers on while we turn from patient to computer. The data we need to document seems impossible to obtain in a timely manner. Some dentists recognize the importance of a hygiene assistant. However, the majority of hygienists are left running behind or neglecting the ADHA recommendations for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation by only charting 5 mm and above. Voice recognition software is a solution to avoid compromising clinical treatment, and to identify areas of disease early.
The ADHA recommends comprehensive periodontal charting to be performed at a minimum of once per year, and at every maintenance appointment for periodontally involved patients. To be deemed comprehensive, the charting must include “six-points-per-tooth pocket depths, recession, areas of mobility, bleeding points, purulent discharge, attachment loss, [radiographs] and/or periodontal diagnosis.”1 Therefore, periodontal examinations without this are considered incomplete, as each area of data and radiographs are needed to properly diagnose the patient.