So many times we hear patients say that they only go to the dentist when they are in pain. And when the patient has a really sore tooth, all we can do is relieve their pain. We call this Emergency Dentistry. But is this really what the patient wants?
Sometimes it is but I think for others the questions is really,” Can you make sure that this does not happen to any of my other teeth?” or “Can you fix this tooth so I never have to think about it again?”.
If we know this we can put together a maintenance program with periodic recare appointments to ensure teeth are attended to when the issues are minor. Or we could repair the tooth in a porcelain material so that it not only restores the tooth, but also protects it during chewing and it will last a long time as the material is so strong.
When a patient is in pain, they just can’t verbalise what they really want. All their thinking is clouded by a red mask of pain. But extracting a painful tooth then means an empty space where the teeth was and a whole new set of questions about what to do with that space.
Likewise a patient does not come in thinking they really need to have a bridge, or a denture, a Snap-On Smile or an Implant. What they would really like is to be able to smile again and be able to chew their food without it hurting their gums.
I rarely have a patient come in saying they want veneers. What they ask for is whiter teeth, or a nicer smile or a different shape to their teeth. If I just made them veneers, I might make them something they like, but the end result may not be ideal.
It sometimes happens that the solution for their problem is completely different to what they might think. For example, if a patient has wants longer teeth, it might be as simple as a laser gum lift, it may be inclining the teeth forward with Invisalign, or even extruding the teeth with implants!
That is the wonderful thing about modern dentistry. There are now so many options to achieve the end result. More than ever it is important that we as dentists ask the right questions, and you as patients think about what it is you really want, and how much it is worth to you.
At Cosmic Smile Dental, we offer a complimentary smile consultation so you can tell us your concerns and we have an understanding of your dental values. We’ll show you some of the ways that we can get there and together we can decide how quickly we can make your goal a reality. Just make sure you think about what it is you really want =)