Dr Mark HassedSometimes you just have to give patients bad news. For example:

  • A root has split and the tooth cannot be save.
  • A tooth has broken for the fourth time and filling it yet again will not work.
  • The nerve is dying and a root filling is the only way to save the tooth.

Some dentists struggle with giving patients bad news. They are so reluctant to do it that they patch things up by doing pulpotomies and putting fillings on top of fillings on top of fillings.

But, if you do that, you are doing your patients a real disservice. Each tooth can only be patched up so many times before it becomes unrestorable. Sometimes the kindest message you can give patients is also the harshest one — if we don't fix that tooth properly you will eventually lose it.

My experience with delivering bad news to patients is that, provided it is done with their best interests at heart, they accept it and make the right choices.

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