Nov 18, 2010
We are all different. When walking into someone’s home for the first time it is noticeable, whether their furniture is contemporary with clean lines, muted colors and marble floors or if they have the big comfy sectional with brightly painted walls and a huge flat screen you get a feeling about them. The same goes for dental practices. You get an idea of the type of dentist they are even by the way their lobby looks. Some are homey and relaxed as others are clinical and modern. These differences are replicated in the disposition of the dentist and also their treatment preferences. Although you might see two different dentists and receive alternate treatment plans, this does not conclude that one dentist is superior to another.
All dentists have attended schooling and learned about the same procedures. But over the years, their patient experience leads them to their best choice of treatment. If you go to your family doctor for a bacterial infection, they may prescribe something different then another doctor would. Depending on many factors including what has worked for them in the past on other patients, what medication is covered by your insurance plan and what else you may have going on throughout your body. Of course, they all are knowledgeable about the basic treatment but build on that throughout their career. The same applies to dentists. If you see two different dentists and are given two different options of treatment, this does not mean that either dentist is wrong.
As with any practice there are many different ways to treat the same condition. The dentist makes a treatment plan unique to the patient. It is unique because we all have different circumstances that need to be taken into account. A good example of this is a patient’s monetary situation. Obviously, treatment plans can differ in cost. Depending on what needs to be done, the dentist may discuss options that take into account what can be afforded at the present time.
A treatment plan can be compared to buying many things in life. If you are in the market to purchase a home, there are many different factors that will go into your decision. If you purchase a home that has been newly built or completely remodeled, it will cost you more money but you are insured that roof won’t leak, the furnace won’t need to be replaced etc. If you spend less money on an older home, you will still have a place to live with a roof over your head but how long until you are spending thousands of dollars to have that roof replaced? The same goes for dentistry. If you have a large cavity that has compromised the tooth, a crown may be necessary. If you choose to have a large composite filling put in because it is less expensive, it is only a matter of time before the tooth with need another restoration costing the patient more money in the long run. A dentist should explain the options to a patient and give them the full picture of what each one entails to allow the patient to decide.
Dentists are distinctive in that one will not perform a clinical procedure in exactly the same way as another dentist. For example, they may prefer a different type of drill when performing certain restorations or use different instruments on their extractions. Just like in any industry, there are always advances and new developments within the dental field. Of course any dentist that has graduated from an accredited dental school should be technically capable to perform any procedure within their comfort level. There are dentists that send root canal patients to an endodontist and others who perform their own. Depending on the person and their need for gas, or their ability to open their mouth wide and many other factors; a dentist doesn’t perform a restoration exactly the same on his own patients.
Ultimately, your dentist is looking out for your best interest. A Top Dentist will spend a number of hours a year in continuing education to keep up with the latest dental technology. Although you may be given different options when acquiring a second and third opinion, dentists are straightforward in what they feel is the best approach when it comes to the health of your teeth and your overall well-being.