You may wonder how does a person even walk through our doors without the intention if following through with treatment. Sometimes they are here for their regular check-up exam and cleaning and we see a problem that they were unaware of. Other times, they visit us for a particular problem and the diagnosis in not what they anticipated hearing.
While a person may have their reasons for refusing treatment, as healthcare providers, it is our duty to explain, in understandable terms, a patient’s condition, treatment options and any possible future repercussions. We must be prepared to use any number of diagnostic tools to help a patient “see” the evidence, understand fully the seriousness of a condition and the consequences of delaying treatment.
It may not always be the good news they were hoping for nor the routine checkup they were expecting, but we cannot neglect our duty to inform. A good dental provider will help guide a patient in their decision-making appreciating that oftentimes it is fear or finances that complicate the process. Nobody wants to see a patient return with regret nor claiming that they did not fully understand that they were making a risky decision that could compromise their future health.