It's incredible how often I've seen dentists shoot themselves in the foot by making assumptions. The most common assumption is what a patient can afford
Instead of presenting comprehensive treatment the dentist backs off and just presents a patch-up treatment plan. My contention is that the finances of a patient are none of your business.
Your job is to diagnose what the patient needs based on your knowledge of dental health. Then, present the treatment options to the patient fairly and honestly and let them decide what they can afford.
If you take this attitude you will be surprised at how often patients select ideal treatment, even ones who you thought couldn't afford it.