Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ethical Treatment

Timely and conservative treatment is essential to dental health and longevity. It is crucial to have at least two cleanings and examinations in a year to be able to diagnose potential problems and treat them in the most conservative way possible. A more conservative approach in dentistry will lead to less issues in a life time. Over-treatment with unnecessary procedures is not only unethical but will also compromise long term health.

I occasionally come across a patient who has been given an extensive treatment plan and has come to our practice for a second opinion. After preforming a comprehensive examination, I discover that some recommended treatments are not necessary. These situations put all parties involved in an awkward position. I do realize that different clinicians have different philosophies but in my humble opinion as long as oral structures are healthy and the patient is functioning alright, there is no real need for treatment. Now don't get me wrong, if a patient requests some elective treatments(cosmetic or otherwise), then so be it. However, to try and "sell" unnecessary treatments to patients who had not requested such is unethical. I would urge anyone with an unexpected treatment plan to ask questions and request a proper explanation. In some cases a second opinion should be in order.