PATIENT ADVOCATEYOUR CHOICESDENTAL RECORDSBUDGET SUPPORTInsurance BenefitsNEED A DENTIST?PERIO vs CLEANINGPatients Bill of RightsDentists Bill of RightsLifetime AchievementAbout Phyllis Waite


... YOU CAN HAVE ONE!!    (Scroll down to GET STARTED)
THE FOUNDATION & INTENTION OF PHYLLIS WAITE'S DENTAL ADVOCACY ROLE is to support senior citizens in feeling in control of their dental health.   Critiquing, or second guessing your dentists recommended treatment is NOT APPROPRIATE, however your choices of when you receive care (spend your money) and discussing your choice TO or NOT TO have treatment WILL BE DISCUSSED.   (Your x-rays will only be used for what your dentist has likely already shown you.)    

A dental practice presents a unique, challenging environment ... A dental practice is a small, personalized, relationship based, 'expensive' wellness service business.  To cultivate a mutually rewarding relationship with your dental team; YOU (the patient) play an important role!  As your dental advocate, our discussion will lead you to identify what YOU may be doing to influence your dental team relationship.   - 
In general there are three reasons people avoid going to the dentist.  1) Time,  2) Fear, 3) Money.   Phyllis's goal is to help you BUILD a RELATIONSHIP with your dentist so you experience they understand your personal dental goals. 

GETTING STARTED ... It will be my privilege to use my dental knowledge and coaching dental teams to take as much time as needed to help you.   I BELIEVE YOU DESERVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT and ENJOY A HEALTHY, PLEASANT SMILE!   

IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT INVITING ME TO BE YOUR 'DENTAL ADVOCATE' ... First, let's talk!!   Email me with a little information and I will call to set a time, or perhaps we'll meet in person at '19 Restaurant'!! 

When you are ready, OBTAINING YOUR DENTAL RECORDS IS NECESSARY.   (Click on DENTAL RECORDS)  (Without complete records it is likely you are speaking apples and I'm thinking oranges!  Word pictures can be misleading.)

REQUESTING YOUR RECORDS:   I suggest you edit, copy and paste the email message I've included in this PATIENT ADVOCATE memo to the appropriate administrative dental team member.

Fact:    All the x-rays, clinical notes and financial records is your property so your dentist should NOT withhold anything you request.   If they request a fee, do what you are comfortable with however I recommend you simply say ‘that feels petty given I am a patient of record and you are merely transferring electronically.' 

1) Most recent full mouth x-rays.   Comprehensive x-rays.   The American Dental Association's (ADA) standard of care is no longer than 4-5 years.  If your dental office staff says they only take ‘panos', request them.  (Circular panographic views are used by specialists for surgical procedures and are not considered clear enough for cavity detection.   #2 below is required to detect cavities when a general dentist takes panos.)  

2) Most recent check up (bite-wing) x-rays.   Cavity detecting x-rays that capture only back teeth where most cavities occur.   ADA Standard of care is at least 12-24 months depending on your bone health and decay rate.   Every 6-12 months for patients with health conditions or taking medication that make them prone to decay, or they inherited weak enamel...'soft teeth'.   

Fact: Decay declines as we age due to reduced sugar intake and a developmental crevice in enamel that is prone to decay is generally treated during adolescence.    

3)  Periodontal probing documentation:  If they do not have computer software, they can scan chart pages and attach.  (Ask them not to fax as there are very small numbers and 3, 5, 6 & 8 often look alike!)     

4)  Most recent ‘complete exam treatment recommendations/treatment plan' including pending treatment.  

5)  Account ledger.   If you have been with the practice over 5 years, request MOST RECENT 5 YEARS.

6)  Clinical Notes BY DATE:  a) If appointment is to provide treatment on an existing treatment plan, notes will have any unusual findings if any and confirm actual procedures performed.   Billable and included in primary procedures.  b) If appointment is to address your concern, notes will have what you are experiencing, diagnostics, clinical findings and recommended treatment, follow up or home care instructions.  If treatment is provided the same day, notes will include procedures performed.


 REQUESTING RECORDS:  Confirm you have the direct email of dental team member responsible for transferring electronic records.   Forward to Phyllis as you wish.


I have met someone in my senior community <at excercise class, through a friend, etc.> who recently retired from forty five years in the dental profession.  Our discussions about the increasing challenges and risks of senior patient dental choices have motivated me to request the following so she can help me understand more about the kind of treatment I want.  My intention is to gain confidence in future treatment decisions, feel secure I am making decisions that will maximize keeping my teeth through life and minimize avoidable expenses.  

 This email acts as my written authorization for you to email my dental records as listed below.  Your prompt reply when I can expect to receive your email with attachments will be appreciated.   

1) Most recent full mouth x-rays, panographic x-ray or CT SCAN.. 

2) Most recent check up (bite-wing) x-rays.   

3) Periodontal probing chart documentation  

4) Most recent ‘complete exam treatment recommendations/treatment plan' including pending treatment.  

5) Account ledger starting January 2016 (or my first visit if later).

6) Clinical notes starting same date as account ledger.    

I welcome your call if anything further is required to receive all of the above.

 <Your name and preferred contact number>   


YOUR CHOICES ... Begin with the end in mind. 

What is important to you?


  • Comfort
  • Function
  • Appearance 
  • New Patient / COMPREHENSIVE
    • Includes complete x-rays  (every 4-5 years)
  • New Patient / needs based exam   (Patient says they do not want complete exam or x-rays)  
    • Comfortable / no pain (Patient is worried or distracted., I.E., crown fell off, chipped tooth, bleeding area, etc.) 
    • Uncomfortable / patient has discomfort of any sort.  (Likely neglected condition.)
  • URGENT CARE - Patient calls bleeding, swollen or other trauma.   (If afterhours visit is required, there may be an additional fee for conditions previously diagnosed or you have not been in for recommended hygiene.   See DENTISTS BILL OF RIGHTS) 
  • PATIENT OF RECORD/returning patient 
    • Annual recare exam generally combined with preventive hygiene care.
      • Generally includes 4 x-rays of back teeth (molars & bicuspids) every 12-24 months.
      • X-rays of roots may be recommended more often than 4-5 years, as discussed with your dentist and on a needs basis.
    • Patient calls with 'felt need.' 
    • Reevaluation exam and consultation due to patient calling to schedule treatment from exam and treatment plan that has exceeded the time limit set during initial diagnosis.  (Generally 10-12 months.   The dentist will likely require current x-ray of treatment areas.)


What lies ahead of us...

is nothing compared to what lies within us.   

Patient Advocate  - Laguna Woods

9 4 9 - 4 2 7 - 3 3 1 2   


Phyllis Waite / Management Consultant / Leadership Coach / Patient Advocate