ACP News   November 27, 2018

“Thank you” Letters Can Keep Doors Open


The ACP Private Practice Committee is pleased to introduce a new series of articles for members in practice -- written by prosthodontists, for prosthodontists.

These articles are intended to share tips and wisdom that members have picked up from their experience in practice -- with useful ideas for prosthodontists new in practice and those who are further into their careers.

Contributed by: Dr. Elaine Torres-Melendez, Yardley, PA

Whenever a patient is referred to my office by a general dentist or another specialist, I always write a letter to the referring colleague. This letter acknowledges the referral, thanks them, and most importantly, shares the results of my evaluation and my recommendations for prosthodontic care.

At the completion of treatment in my office, I will write once again to return the patient (if applicable) to the person who referred them with Recare and follow-up recommendations along with a summary of treatment. It is also a good idea to accompany the letter with before-treatment and after-treatment photographs.

Here’s a sample letter that I have used:




I met PATIENT on DATE when you referred him to my office. His chief complaint was "my upper bridge is coming loose". He was characterized as Prosthodontic Diagnostic Index Class IV. Diagnoses included caries, failed fixed dental prosthesis, retrograde wear, retracted tongue, xerostomia, loss of posterior support, and loss of vertical dimension of occlusion.

He has been an excellent patient. We completed a treatment plan that includes: a complete maxillary immediate denture, individual crowns #s 21-27 and a Kennedy Class I mandibular removable partial denture. The patient is comfortable, and he functions and speaks well with his prostheses.

Yesterday, I relined the maxillary denture (lab-processed) and will recall him for follow-up in about six months. I reinforced an excellent hygiene protocol especially in the mandibular arch where he must maintain the remaining seven teeth. Please appoint him for a Recare visit as soon as you are able.

Thank you again for your trust in my ability to assist in the care of your patients.

Elaine Torres-Melendez, DMD, FACP
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics

Enclosure-FMX 2008

Communication with my referring colleagues keeps me top-of-mind in their daily interactions with patients. It also educates and reminds other dentists of the capabilities that I can deploy in the treatment of more complex oral health issues. 


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