Ways to Approach Dentistry
Some doctors and teaching institutions take a more aggressive approach to their work for a variety of reasons. Teaching institutions are able to provide their services at far less cost and are trying to educate their students as to the most ideal approach in the delivery of dental care. They have the resources to expend tremendous time and effort to maintain as ideal a dentition as possible. For the resource of this type, most patients are willing to waive a great deal of the responsibility in determining the direction of their dental care. Aggressive treatment in the private sector is only effective if the patient and the doctor share the same concerns about the dentition. All too often, the dentist loses track of the fact that his or her patient’s mouth is attached to a living, breathing human being with different needs and aspirations. If a private dentist is unable to transcend their own wants and needs, all too often the motivating factor is the all-mighty dollar.
Are We a Holistic Practice?
Some may ask whether we take on a holistic approach to dentistry, but we prefer to describe our office as conservative. Our goal is to develop an interactive relationship with our patients. We like to explain the various treatment plans that are possible for our patients, inform them about the pros and cons for each option, and finally give our patients the freedom to choose the plan of action that makes them feel the most comfortable. We also stress the importance of nutrition, vitamin supplements, and recommend our patients cease the practice of harmful oral habits (e.g. smoking, grinding, nail-biting) in order to improve oral hygiene.
Many of the patients that seek care in our practice do so because they have heard that I am a “holistic” treater. If “holistic” refers to the fact that:
• we address our patients’ needs above our own
• we tailor our patients’ treatment to their specific and immediate needs
• we require our patients’ participation in the maintenance of the work delivered to them or their children
• we interact extensively with our patients’ other health care practitioners
and finally, that we are far less concerned with the quantity of work delivered, but rather the wellness of our patients,
then I suppose the term applies.