Dr Mark HassedRecently I was talking to a design person about some marketing materials not related to dentistry.

As we spoke he told me that all the things he needed to do and how much it would cost. By the end of the talk I was very annoyed and quite resistant to all his recommendations. Why?

The reason was that he neither gave me options nor the advantages and disadvantages of each. He never let me feel part of the process and I did not understand (for example) what the benefits of a web site redesign were. I knew he would be $3,200 richer but what were the benefits to me?

How does this relate to dentistry?

In dentistry, when we discuss treatment with patients it's very important to make them part of the decision making process.

Do we let patients know that there are alternative treatments?

And, very importantly, do we let them know the cost and the pros and cons of each option?

If we simply say to patients “You need gum surgery” then we may be annoying them without even knowing it. Much better to discuss their problem and then lay out their options and let them make an informed choice.

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