Now and again, a new patient will make their way to our dental office, more often than not, by way of referral from a concerned family member or friend. Sometimes it will be an immediate dental emergency, while, at other times, for an overall assessment of the current condition of their teeth.
In the case of the latter type of patient, they are usually seeking to deal with their ongoing dental problems once and for all! We see weary, frustrated individuals who have had “Patchwork” dental care in the past. This term is used to describe a person’s previous dental work which has mainly consisted of a series of temporary fixes for problems that, ideally, should have been restored with high-quality, longer term dental solutions. It is not uncommon to see patients who have had two, three or even four separate fillings all placed within the same tooth!
Patients usually choose cheaper treatment options due to finances, limitations in their insurance benefits or lack of understanding of the long term consequences of short term fixes. Your needs may often be different from what is covered by your dental plan. When a dentist recommends dental treatment they are looking out for your best interests going forward and not your insurer’s bottom dollar!
Sometimes, a patient may be unaware that they have received patchwork dental treatment. If the benefits of high quality dental care was not explained properly or if ideal treatment was not offered to them, they may have chosen inferior treatment without even realizing it. This can be problematic for the new dentist because he has essentially inherited someone else’s dentistry. In this situation, a dentist must, out of good conscience and concern for a patient’s dental well-being, explain to them the condition of their mouth. Sadly, this can leave a patient completely blind-sided or overwhelmed with the realities of their current dental health.
Although dentists do their best to explain the necessary treatment so a patient can make an informed decision sometimes that advice is ignored. When treatment is delayed, eventually the patient will pay the price – both in terms of discomfort and higher dental costs associated with further dental breakdown.
Of course, the decision to move forward or not with treatment is always yours to make. It is important to ask questions and communication to the dentist your hesitations and concerns so that a workable solution can be found that fits your “specific to you” dental issue. Treatment options are a way of life in our profession. Even if you cannot manage to have all your dental care done at once, we may be able to provide you with treatment that is done in order of importance or necessity to minimize incurring unnecessary costs from disconnected “patchwork” dentistry.
Understanding your treatment options is key to making confident, well-informed decisions about your individual dental needs. At Your Smile Dental Care we encourage you to look at your long term dental health as an investment in you. We can literally turn back time and restore a mouth that has struggled with many years of patchwork treatment and old, failing dentistry.
You can have youthful looking teeth that are supported by a strong foundation which will serve you for many years to come.
Spend the time to find a dentist you trust so you can enjoy peace-of-mind dental care for many years. Searching for a dentist to care for your teeth and gums can be a simple process if you know where to look!