The ability to take good dental photographs is not only helpful to dentists for treatment planning or creating laboratory prescriptions, but it is helpful for the patient to see what you are seeing.
The patient interview is one of the most critical parts of treatment planning and developing a rapport with our patients. Listening to our patients is a skill we should master, especially when they are telling us about the oral hygiene products they’re using at home.
An analogy takes an unfamiliar concept in our world and compares it to something familiar. What are some ways we can use this to make dentistry more understandable for our patients? Can using analogies play an important role in achieving this goal?
A new class is settling into clinic and treatment planning seems to be happening in every other chair. An intake interview is happening next to me and I hear, “Um… What’s your chief complaint?” I cringe. I see the patient’s head tilt slightly. His brows furrow revealing confusion. I take a guess at what he’s thinking, “What in the world is this kid asking me?!”
With so many factors that go into treatment planning (cost, insurance coverage, time requirements, length of procedures, knowledge of the treatment, fear), sometimes we may lose sight of what is best for the patient. Never make assumptions. Get to know your patients. Make sure that he or she understands what the procedure entails and is clear on the pros and cons of every treatment option. Taking the time to listen to the patient and explain all possible treatment options and ways for future prevention is paramount to treating each person in the best way possible.