Everything to Know About Comprehensive Patient Records in 2022

Dental patient records are essential for diagnosing the underlying cause of dental issues, diagnosis, and treatment. Every dental practice obtains and keeps patient records, but some types of information are more comprehensive and valuable than others. To understand what goes into your patient record and why practices take different information standard dental records, you should recognize what is standard and what is comprehensive. 

What should my charts include and why?

Conventional patient records help your dentist’s office keep track of your examinations, treatments, and procedures that take place at their practice, and will include some or all of the following: X-rays: Bitewings that show a tooth from its crown to the level of the supporting bone for cavity detection, Peripical (PA) that capture the whole tooth for detecting infections, Full-Mouth (FMX) that give detailed information about every tooth throughout the mouth; a photo of the face for your chart and your teeth so that you can see what we see during our discussions; and a comprehensive dental exam by the doctor.

What do comprehensive patient records include?

Comprehensive patient records needed for restorative and/or surgical care should include the records above and, additionally, a series of photos that include several angles of the face as well as a variety of close-up and distant photos of your bite, both open and closed. In addition, a 3D impression scan of your teeth and your bite and a CBCT diagnostic image showing hard tissue aspects of your jaw.  

Comprehensive Dental Care and Determining Diagnosis

Jaw and tooth pain sometimes results from trauma that took place months and even years ago, such as a fall, sports issues, a collision, or violence. Imagine a patient who comes into their dentist complaining of pain in the back of their mouth. A comprehensive diagnosis considers your complete dental view to identify the root cause of the problem – which might not be the same spot as where the pain is manifesting.  

One of the most valuable elements of comprehensive patient records is providing a real-time benchmark of a patient’s greater health. For example, if you go to the dentist today and your records show that there are no issues, and then a few months or years down the road you have a dental issue. When you can go and compare a visual history and piece together the visible aspects and the questions that your dentist asks, such as noting a past car or sports accident, they can determine a diagnosis that treats the cause of the problem instead of the symptoms, that may not cause relief.

A Comprehensive Benchmark of Dental Health

Every time you visit the dentist for a dental check-up, some or all of your information will be updated. The more extensive the benchmark data, the more valuable the patient records. As noted above, comprehensive dental records benchmark appointment should include:

Every practice is different, but it’s important to confirm how your provider is taking records and if that is furnishing you with the most comprehensive dental care.

How to Get Your Patient Records

As a patient, you own your records and have a legal right to copies of your medical and dental records. Just ask. Our office believes that records helps patients develop a high dental IQ and benefit their long-term health well into the future. If you would like to know if comprehensive care is right for you, contact Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry to schedule a virtual complimentary first visit and learn about comprehensive patient records.

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Call us: 617-277-4100