Photo credit Racardo
With today’s advanced technology, many patients and dentists are pushing to provide or acquire extensive expensive dentistry work. While there is sometimes a legitimate need to provide this type of service, many times a patient can be better served with a more conservative type of care.
What is Best for the Patient?
Conservative dentistry involves a thought process of thinking what is best for the patient. The dentist considers what they would do if it were their mouth, their child’s mouth, or their spouse’s mouth. It’s about providing the best service for the lowest cost. It’s about making it last. It’s about causing the fewest side effects and potential problems while succeeding in making the procedure work.
The Dentist Must be Aware of the Alternatives, Pros & Cons
Sometimes being conservative is not the best treatment at all, and sometimes it’s the best. Knowing the conservative dentistry treatment options, along with the pros and cons of each, allows patients to make informed decisions about dental treatment alternatives. Your dentist shouldn’t dictate, but inform and educate you about what is going on, what alternatives are available, and what may be the best course of action for your situation.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
For example, sometimes it is not in the patient’s best interest to extract teeth and place implants. Implants, in a small percentage of cases, fail. Periodontal services are still available. Where there is sufficient tooth structure, large fillings can be effectively and economically used. Why not keep those teeth that are serviceable as long as possible? Many times these teeth can last a long time. Even hopeless teeth can support the chewing and eating needs of patient, provided they are not negatively impacting health.
Options for Patients with Full Dentures
We have many patients who wear full dentures. Many are happy. Some are not. The conservative approach for many of these patients,who have trouble wearing dentures, is to place two simple implants and have these lock down and support a denture. The denture does not move, and the patient is much more comfortable. The horrible paste that patients used on their old plates is no longer needed. The patients become very happy.
Options for Patients with Natural Teeth in Poor Condition
If the patient has natural teeth that are not in great condition, but are serviceable, we have a procedure to use the roots of these teeth to lock down a denture much like implants. But no implants need to be placed, using the patients own roots with attachments. Again, we can avoid the gooey adhesives and provide the patient with a great service.
Considerations When Making Decisions About Dental Procedures
Conservative dentistry must consider the patient’s age, medical condition, needs, desires, existing dental conditions, alternatives, and likely outcomes. These factors will contribute to the decision on what is best for the patient.