Of late I find myself having lengthy conversations with new and prospective patients where said patients have had a “bad experience” with a previous dentist or dental procedure and are now skeptical of dental care or even dental science as a whole. In many of these cases, patients felt unsatisfied because the necessary communication had not occurred prior to, during or after treatment. I have noticed a consistent pattern of concerns that patients share. I have decided to write a few articles regarding what I believe patients should expect from a modern high quality dental experience. I will share each topic through the typical questions that I most often hear.
The Big Three:
How much does it cost?
Cost does not only pertain to the procedure/procedures that are suggested but as we will discuss later, the prognosis, the risk of further treatment and procedures in the future, how often it will need to be replaced, and even the cost of not doing the procedure.
Is it going to hurt?
I have written several articles regarding modern dental technology and the science to manage and accommodate dental pain and anxiety. Needless to say, there are all kinds of management methods for dental treatment ranging from a soothing clinical tone to general anesthesia. What is important is that your Dentist 1) listens to you and properly diagnoses your level of management and 2) gets you the help you need even if he/she are not capable of offering that treatment.
How long will it take?
We are all busy people and want for things to be convenient, but ultimately consistent quality demands its own level of time and effort. A quality office attempts to make everything convenient but will never sacrifice quality to do so. An office that takes this shortcut often fails to meet the standard and fails to maximize the prognosis of care.
These are the most common questions that most people ask. You should expect your dental office to have skills, training, and systems to accommodate various situations. I would offer that most dental offices will be managing these three questions to some extent. You should be satisfied with their approach and style regarding these three questions.
To be continued…