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Oral Health Care: A Whole New Language

Patricia J. Nunn, RDH, MS

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You can decrease the amount of time spent on paperwork by using abbreviations for patient treatment records.  While patient treatment records are important for good patient treatment and follow-up; records also legal documents, so abbreviations and their meanings should be the same in every record.  To be certain that everyone in the office uses the same abbreviations and understands what the abbreviations mean, it is a good idea to create a “key” to the abbreviations used in your office so that way anyone writing or reading a record can understand exactly what is being conveyed.  A good idea is to post an abbreviation “key” where all employees can see it to help ensure that all of your records contain consistent and accurate information.  The key will help all employees, past, present and future, as well as serve as a part of the legal record.

The following list is a compilation of some commonly used abbreviations:

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