for treatment that I feel is unnecessary?
We believe that trust takes time to build and has to be earned. And trust is really the heart of what makes a successful patient-doctor relationship, even when treatment outcomes are not as perfect as we hoped for.
When underlying conditions and treatment options are not adequately explained, it is hard for you to feel that treatment is necessary. Especially if your condition is painless (such as early tooth decay). Most dentists do not routinely recommend treatment that may be perceived as unnecessary. Experience also tells us that not all dentists are effective communicators.
It is also a common misconception that dental treatment is only needed when there is pain and discomfort. Therefore, many people would only be concerned if they have dental discomfort that does not spontaneously resolve.
However, as with any profession, a few bad apples do exist. There are dentists who may push for unnecessary treatment motivated by profit rather than actual clinical need. These dentists may even be perceived as dishonest.
Another reason is that dentistry is subjective to a certain degree. Dentists often disagree about different aspects of diagnosis and treatment planning. Treatment philosophy varies depending on where your dentist qualified, how long he/she has been practicing, your dentist’s area(s) of interest, personal experience (of being a patient) and continuing education.
So how do you know if we have your best interests at heart?
Our promise is to:
We will never pressure you to choose the most expensive treatment, which usually may be the most optimal for long term success. Without an open discussion describing different treatment options, we cannot presume to know your long term dental goals. Our dentists will guide you through the process of selecting the most suitable treatment option for you at this moment, bearing in mind your current season of life , even if that means choosing not to pursue treatment . We will make sure that you understand all the pros and cons of every treatment option, so that you can make an informed decision regarding your dental health.
Another reason that makes certain procedures seem unnecessary is because most dental problems do not exhibit symptoms until the problem is very serious.
A tooth with incipient decay will look and feel completely normal. Only when decay has spread deep into the tooth, close to the pulp, will you become acutely aware that all is not well. By the time decay has reached this stage, a filling alone will not be able to resolve the symptoms and root canal treatment followed by a crown may be necessary. With regular examinations and x-rays, our dentists will be able to detect oral conditions when they require less complex and less expensive treatment. Early detection, prevention and minimal treatment will also leave your teeth stronger for the long term.
Many adult patients have periodontal (gum) disease without even realising it. Because 47% of adults have gum disease, bleeding gums when brushing, flossing or eating might seem normal; however, bleeding gums indicate the presence of active gum disease. Gum disease is usually painless, but it has been linked to heart disease, low birth weights, and even reduced life expectancy as a result of tooth loss.
Our team at Elite Dental Group wants to make sure you fully understand all aspects of your dental health. Hearing an explanation in the dental chair can feel a little overwhelming at times, and you may not realise that you have questions until you have had time to think it over.
Please contact us to clarify if you feel at any time that our explanations are unclear. We are always happy to go over treatment options and why we think it is necessary in your case. For advanced dentistry, your treatment plan may be complex and a treatment quotation that details the treatment sequence and costs will always be provided, so that you fully understand the suggested treatment before it begins.