Knowledge is power

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  Posted by: Dental Design      7th April 2018

Patient education at the point of care is essential in all areas of healthcare. It involves communicating information that can help in the prevention, detection and treatment of disease. It helps patients to become more informed and more responsible for their own health status. It also appears that patient education can improve outcomes; it has been found to improve people’s management of diabetes[i]and coronary artery disease.[ii]

Patient education is equally important in dentistry. By improving their knowledge of dental health, its importance and its impact on the rest of the body, it encourages them to take more responsibility and to employ better oral hygiene routines at home.

It appears that dental teams in the UK already appreciate the importance of educating their patients. One study found that patient education occupies a significant portion of the initial dental examination appointment (29%) and in routine visits (7%).[iii]However, there is always room for improvement – whether that is with regards to the length of time dedicated to oral health promotion or the way in which it is delivered.

Effective communication is integral to making sure patients fully understand the information provided. Despite increased awareness of the dental treatments available to them, patients still don’t often understand all the dental terminology and so it’s necessary to think about how information is presented. Simplifying the processes and communicating them in a way patients will easily comprehend is crucial – especially for those who may already be inhibited by a dental fear or phobia.


This is the concept on which the Denplan PreViser Patient assessment (DEPPA) tool is based. It is an evidence-based, online individual risk assessment tool designed to help patients better understand their current oral health status and future risk of disease. Its traffic light colour coded system makes it clear to patients how high or low their risk of things like caries and periodontal disease is, supporting the advice given by the clinician and encouraging behaviour change where necessary. 

In addition, the DEPPA tool is now fully integrated within the CS R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental. This means less time spent inputting repetitive data and more time spent listening to and educating patients, further enhancing their knowledge and inspiring change.


The integrated programmes offer an array of benefits for Denplan practices that utilise the CS R4+ software, including:


  • DEPPA files are pre-populated from patient folders in CS R4+, eliminating the need to input data twice


  • Denplan files are automatically updated from CS R4+ patient folders when new information is added or details changed


  • There’s no need to log-in twice – DEPPA files can be accessed from the CS R4+ clinical screens


  • New patient folders are automatically generated as new Denplan patients join the practice


  • Patients can complete the initial DEPPA questionnaires in the reception area on Carestream Dental electronic signature pads, which can save significant time during clinical appointments


  • A copy of the DEPPA patient questionnaire is automatically recorded in the patient communication tab to ensure complete and up-to-date records the easy way


  • CS R4+ integration with DEPPA is completely free to all Carestream Dental and Denplan practices


All this means that the professional workflow is streamlined, giving clinicians more time to spend focusing on their patients. It also makes the presentation of information as simple as possible, so that patients are more likely to understand their oral health status and therefore more likely to appreciate and follow the clinical advice given.


Matthew Calder, Principal of Cwmbran Dental Care, South Wales, said:

“DEPPA has proved so successful for us that we have built our practice philosophy around it. The fact that it is now fully integrated with CS R4+ has made the process faster and more streamlined.

“CS R4+ is a powerful tool, but is very simple to use. It is also a great looking software package that is great when showing patients. The treatment animations in the patient communicator are also very useful. We have been very pleased with the development of CS R4+, especially with the introduction of Springboard and the seamless integration with DEPPA.”


Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan, commented:

“DEPPA is a highly effective, individualised patient risk assessment and communication tool. The integration with the CS R4+ software allows for surgery time to be optimised. It supports utilisation of the innovative DEPPA tool, maximising efficiency and creating more time for discussion with patients.

“I think the capability of the software to automatically pre-populate certain DEPPA fields is very clever and this will be particularly useful for clinicians. Having seen a demonstration of the CS R4+ software integration, I am very impressed with its functionality and the simplicity of use.”


To improve your patient education while enjoying a smooth and time-efficient workflow, discover the advantages of CS R4+ and DEPPA integration today.


For more information, contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or


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[i]Brown S. Studies of educational interventions and outcomes in adults: a meta-analysis revisited. Patient Educ Couns 1990;16:189-215.

[ii] Dusseldorp E, van Elderen T, Maes S, Meulman J, Kraaj V. A meta-analysis of psychoeducational programs for coronary heart disease patients. Health Psychol 1999;18:506-19.

[iii]Clayton M, Borromeo C, Hess S, Hochheiser H, Schleyer T. An initial qualitative investigation of patient-centered education in dentistry. Stud Health Technol Inform 2013;183:314-18.

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