I LOVE being a dentist.
The technical aspects of the job are great, and being really good at something in your life, I mean really an expert, is a deeply satisfying feeling. I love kids and people, I love my staff, and I am blessed with a great family.
Being a dentist also means I gain special insights to people’s lives in ways that other professionals don’t.
For a start, I am working inside people’s mouths. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Even on a good day, that can be pretty confronting for some patients. But if a patient is faced with a challenging dental condition, getting up close and personal with me (or any dentist) can invokefear in even the hardiest among us.
This makes genuine, heartfelt patient care all the more important. It is something the entire Taree Dental Care team practices daily – our clients are our number one priority.
Why is patient care from a dentist important?
Genuine patient care can really make a difference. If you will indulge me, I’ll tell you a little story.
Recently I treated a man who came to me with challenging dental circumstances.
In his early fifties, he already had partial dentures and the teeth that remained weren’t in great shape. The condition of his teeth and his oral health generally meant he regularly experienced a lot of discomfort and pain.
He came into the practice pretty distressed. It was obvious that seeing a dentist was a source of angst for him, and above all, he naturally wanted a solution.
When he came in for his appointment, he’d his mind made up he wanted all his remaining teeth removed and full dentures fitted.
That’s a pretty drastic course of action for anyone, but especially in a relatively young man who potentially has the next 30 plus years ahead of him.
If he decided to follow through on this decision, he would likely spend the next 30 years experiencing even more pain and discomfort.
For me, it simply wasn’t the way go. So what did I do?
Firstly, I acknowledged his difficult circumstances. I could completely understand his line of thinking. Often the path that gives us short term relief holds the greatest appeal because it gives us the quick fix we’re looking for.
The quick fix is not always the best fix
Unfortunately, in the long term, the quick fix is not always the best fix.
I firmly believed this would be the case for my patient if he decided to choose that option.
So I asked him to take a deep breath, and I created another picture for him.
I showed him that we could treat a number of his immediate concerns by alleviating some of the discomfort, while at the same time taking good care of his remaining teeth.
I said that if he committed to a program of good oral hygiene and care from this point forward, there would a good chance he’d get another four to five years out of those teeth (and possibly longer) before having to invest in major restorative treatment.
We talked through what that treatment would look like and the probable cost.
After some immediate treatment and an interim program of care and maintenance, my patient was able to leave the practice feeling more confident and comfortable that there was a way forward that he could manage – both personally, financially, and in terms of his ongoing oral health and hygiene.
Stories like this one happen regularly in our Taree practice – not always to this extreme perhaps – but every day there are cases where we practice genuine heartfelt patient care to ensure the best outcome.
It’s these experiences that makes a day in the life of a dentist such a satisfying profession.
I really DO love my job at Taree Dental Care.🧡
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