Conservative vs. Aggressive


Is Your Dentist Too Conservative or Too Aggressive?

For many professions and service providers, one decides how conservative or aggressive they are going to be in making recommendations.

For instance, if you are getting your car fixed, the auto mechanic may list all those things that are not perfect. He may even recommend that all these things be addressed in some way. Another auto mechanic may recommend only fixing those things that may become a major issue or a safety issue within the next few months. Yet another mechanic may only address your main concern.

The level of conservatism or aggression may apply as well to making recommendations for auto repairs. Some mechanics may recommend repairing an existing part. Another may recommend replacing the defective part with a similar part. Yet another mechanic may recommend replacing a part with only the same exact part from the same manufacturer. As the owner of the car, you must decide what is important to you, and you must determine the best course of action for you.

In my dental practice, we are realistic with our patients. We are honest about what we see as a concern and we are honest about when we believe treatment must be sought.

We work within our patient’s desires and goals. We do fully inform our patients about what we see. Together with the patient, we create their plan for treatment based on current dental science, based on my experience, and based upon their desires.

In planning treatment in this way, we are fully informing our patient and we are respecting their ability to be involved in the planning of their care. By creating plans for care in this way, we are addressing what is most important at the time.

Our patients appreciate the way in which we treat them and respect them. Many find this philosophy of care refreshing. Many patients do not want to feel pressured into care they do not want nor value.

To answer the above question, I am more in the middle of the road. By being too conservative, there is a possibility that the potential for problems is too great.

Being too conservative may end up costing more money in the long run. By being too aggressive, dental treatment may be getting done that is not recommended. In being too aggressive, the costs for care can become more extensive.

In addition, being too aggressive may eliminate possible options for care in the future.

I can honestly recognize that I am a dentist who believes I can help many people with their dental problems. However, there is nothing like the natural human tooth. Like everything in this world that is natural, our teeth were created by God. There is no need to provide treatment unless the treatment is indeed necessary to prevent a problem that has a reasonably high chance of occurring or unless there is an obvious problem that is apparent.

Any treatment that a dentist does carries a certain life-span. There is a frequency of repair or replacement for all that we do. As a dentist, I am honestly stating that the best thing for your teeth is to leave the teeth as they are unless there is a realistic probability for a future problem or unless there is a current readily apparent problem.

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