The dental care industry is a complicated beast, filled with conflicting opinions and conflicting data.
Dental care providers and patients need to be aware of the many conflicting opinions around their profession and treat the information in a thoughtful manner, says Dr. William A. Gorman, a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill professor of dentistry.
“Dentistry is a science, and you’re going to have to make educated guesses as to what’s the best way to treat the problem.
But you also have to know how to communicate and communicate in a respectful way.
And if you don’t, you’re not going to be able to be as effective as you would be if you had been educated and acted in a professional manner.”
In a world of misinformation, the best advice is to look at your own health and your individual situation, says A. Scott Wilson, a DDS, DVM,Dentist, and PhD candidate in the department of dental and oral health sciences at the University of Illinois.
“You don’t want to be an idiot and say, ‘I’m going to prescribe the best dental pain medications for my teeth,'” he says.
Wilson has studied and written extensively about the importance of communication and informed decisions in dentistry, which are important for any doctor who is looking to treat patients.
In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends that doctors learn the proper terminology for dentists and dentists to discuss their patients’ problems, Wilson says.
When treating patients, patients should talk to their dentist about the reasons they have a problem, Wilson recommends.
“They have to tell their dentist why they’re having a problem and tell him how they’re going get rid of it,” Wilson says, “because you’re doing it for your own good.”
Dr. Mark Lippert, MD,D, a clinical professor of dental hygiene and preventive medicine at the Mayo School of Medicine, says the most important thing a dentist does is educate patients about the options available to them and what’s best for them.
“It’s the least that you can do to ensure that patients get the information that’s right for them and their teeth are well-functioning,” he says, adding that the best preventive care measures can help prevent cavities and improve overall oral health.
In a study conducted by the American Dental Association, patients who had had a previous dental procedure had a lower risk of developing gum disease than those who did not.
Dr. Karen S. Jones, DDS and DVM at the Department of Dental Medicine at the National Institute of Health, says dentists should be open to learning about different treatments, including natural treatments that may be available at a local dentist.
“As a dentist, you should be aware that there are other ways to treat cavities that have not been studied in the past, but I think that people should have the opportunity to know,” Jones says.
“I think it’s important to talk about this stuff in a way that is respectful, but also that is not too serious.”
To get a better idea of how to approach the patient, talk to them in a nonjudgmental manner, and let them know about any options they might want to consider, Lippart recommends.
This can help avoid a situation where a patient is left with a decision between an oral surgeon or an oral doctor, which can be costly, he says “We can’t always tell patients what they need to do, but we can tell them what they don’t need to get a tooth cleaned.”
The Mayo Clinic also recommends that patients be told the dental procedures are for their own health, not their health care provider.
If you’re an insurance company or dental plan, you may want to ask for a copy of the insurance plan, or to contact your insurance provider.
Contacting your insurance company for an update on the dental care they’re providing can help ensure your patient has the information they need and the support they need, Wilson advises.
“If you’re talking to an insurance carrier or your insurance plan and they say they’re not updating their policies, it’s not necessarily a good sign,” Wilson adds.
“We also need to educate the insurance company about the difference between insurance plans and dental plans and to make sure that we’re doing the right thing for our patients.”
The dentist who has the best knowledge of the profession is the one who has an eye for patients and a patient-centered approach, Lipsert says.
He also recommends reading and understanding the latest scientific studies, which include the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, American DDS Council on Aging, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy for Family Physicians.
He encourages the dental profession to educate themselves and their patients about all the options for their dental care, but to do it in a manner that is appropriate and respectful.
“People are going to want to know what is the best treatment for them, what are the best