Treatment planning mistake

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Dr Mark HassedIt was interesting to watch two dentists treatment plan a case together recently.

Whenever I treatment plan a case I’m always thinking to myself, “What’s the best I can do for this patient?” Then, somewhat later, I think “If that’s not financially possible what’s something else that’s a reasonable compromise?”

The point being, I always start with the best I can do and work back from there.

The dentists in question were looking at a case that could have been fixed beautifully with orthodontics and implants. It would have been magnificent.

Unfortunately, their treatment planning started with partial dentures. Then it got onto what type — chrome or acrylic.

These dentists’ starting reference point was not “What’s the best I can do for this patient?” Instead it was “What’s the cheapest I can do for this patient?”

After listening to this for a while I  started to feel really sorry for the patient.

Instead of being shown the best that dentistry has to offer, they were going to be led directly to a pretty poor alternative.

Maybe the orthodontics and implants would be offered with a throw away line: “You could consider braces and implants but that’s very expensive.” Maybe orthodontics and implants were not going to be offered at all.

When you treatment plan a case what is your starting point — the best that you can do or the cheapest that you can do?


DentistThe Art of Case Acceptance is on again.

Learn how to get patients to accept the treatment they need.

Sydney 8 April – click for details.

Auckland 6 May – click here for details.

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