Dr Mark Hassed

I saw a woman recently who wanted a second opinion.

She was dying to tell me all about what the other dentist had told her and what he thought that she should do.

I cut her off. “Just tell me what your problem is and the symptoms you have been having.”

She was surprised at this. “Aren't you interested in what the other dentist thought?” she asked

“Quite frankly no.” I answered. “In fact it would be bad for you to tell me. It might colour my thinking.”

That's really the long and the short of it.

In my opinion you are far better to judge every situation you come across on its merits. The moment you listen to what the other dentist thought or read the past records then your opinion gets influenced.

Patients often arrive at our offices with their old dental records under their arm. They hand them across as if they are useful.

Little do they know that they are of zero use. I don't even look at them.

Many times in my career I have been faced with a request for me to make a diagnosis where the patient's regular dentist has failed. Usually these cases are very easy.

The reason is that as a fresh person I am not blinded by past history.

I encourage you to come to all the clinical situations you face as a blank slate. Especially if it is a patient you know well.

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