There are seemingly so many options in dentistry, so many procedures. The key element however is not in the procedures that are being done. Sure, you want your dentist to be up on the latest technology. But more important is the dentist with whom you can communicate, who listens to you. Another important aspect is planning. Planning means a realistic, logical program of treatment that will be predictable. We’re accustomed to seeing treatment plans that are spit out by a computer, with procedures and numbers that we don’t understand. That’s not what I’m talking about. A treatment plan which is written or typed understandably is far more important to you. You need to understand what’s happening in your mouth. Dentistry is not so complex that you can’t have such a treatment plan in writing.
Xray technologies have improved immensely. Now you can see the xray and see what your dentist is referring to with digital xrays and a large viewing screen. CT Scan software, often used for planning dental implants, can now be viewed in such a way that your mouth looks like a mouth rather than like a black and white negative. Software such as Anatomage software allows the dentist to virtually place the implant and the crown right in front of you. It’s a valuable adjunct to the written treatment plan.
Patients who have a written treatment plan can then participate in the discussion. If you understand it, you can contribute to it. If it makes sense to you, you can proceed. If it doesn’t make sense to you, you can see the parts in writing that don’t make sense and get them clarified. What a great opportunity for you to participate in your own treatment. What a great opportunity for the dentist to have such an interested patient.