In ages past, dentistry was a relatively simple profession. Most practices focused on drilling out the decay and filling the resulting hole. Cosmetic dentistry wasn’t highly available, and where it was, it wasn’t in particularly high demand. This was partly due to the high cost of the cosmetic procedures available, with only the rich being able to afford them. Even orthodontics, which is reasonably approachable for most patients today, was out of reach. Modern dentistry has made procedures like these available to a notable portion of the population, leading to a shift in opinions about what comprises the “ideal treatment.”
What Is The Ideal Treatment For Your Concerns?
Every dentist wants to offer their patient the ideal treatment, but what that means varies based on several factors. One of those factors is the perception of the patient and the dentist. The insurance available to the patient is an unfortunate reality that must be considered, as well as their financial reality. These play an inevitable role in what the patient can accept regarding treatment and what the dentist can provide. Before this, the dentist must determine what treatments will benefit the patient. Between the dentist’s perception of the ideal treatment and what the patient can reasonably afford, lay out the best option for them.
When the dentist presents their ideal treatment option for the patient, it provides some benefits. These include:
- It educates the patient on their options
- Ensures the patient of the dentist’s best interests for them
- Promotes the patient’s awareness of recommended dental options
- Informs the patient of the recommended priority of procedures
Throughout the consultation process, the patient will develop a complete picture of the steps ahead of them to achieve optimal oral health. However, there is a complication involved as well. The services they will be presented with will include those that are important to their overall well-being. Not all of these will be mandatory for the advance of their oral health, however. This leaves the dentist in a quandary. Should those options that are important to their well-being be presented separately from those important to their oral health? The answer isn’t always clear.
Reaching this conclusion involves the dentist asking themselves the following questions:
- What treatments are involved in the ideal outcome for the patient?
- What ramifications could the patient face if the ideal recommendations are not followed?
- Which elective services are a luxury, and which are part of the ideal treatment?
This last question is the most difficult, and often the most critical, for the dentist to answer. Being unable to reach a solid conclusion on it may result in the dentist presenting an unbalanced answer regarding the ideal treatment for the patient.
How To Decide Which Treatment Is Appropriate For You
In the end, it’s often best to trust your dentist’s final decision. They’ll have spent a significant amount of time trying to make the decision that’s right for your case. Regardless, you retain the right and responsibility to make the decision that you believe to be right for your circumstances. A second opinion is always an option, and you have the right to seek one if you feel it necessary.