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Patchwork Dentistry

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Patchwork Dentistry is dentistry where the underlying issue of pain, decay or regression is not addressed, instead a quick fix and, sometimes cheaper, short-term solution is provided. Dentists are not inherently trying to mislead their patient, but, sometimes choose the quick fix to provide an immediate resolution that meets the requirements of an insurance plan and is cheaper. Patchwork Dentistry offers ends up costing more money in the end, causes more pain and takes more time to resolve.

Here's an example in a completely different field; imagine you have a leaking pipe underneath your kitchen sink. You get quotes from two plumbers. The first plumber offers to wrap the pipe in plumber’s tape and putty. The second plumber recommends cutting the pipe, replacing the leaking section and soldering it. The second plumber wants to charge you three times what the first quoted. You decide to hire the first plumber to fix the problem. Six months later, the leak begins again, the plumber you hired comes back and fixes the pipe again by wrapping more tape. A year later, the pipe breaks spewing water on the kitchen floor and down into your basement. Now you have a real problem.

Sometimes a similar situation can happen with a tooth. We’ve seen new patients come to our office with teeth that have had two, three or even four fillings in the same tooth. This tooth may have benefitted from a root canal and a crown. The worst-case scenario for the patient is that the tooth is now in such a state of decay and the gums so infected that a dental implant is necessary after treating the infection.

Patients usually choose cheaper treatment options, such as a filling, due to finances, limitations in their insurance benefits or lack of understanding of the long-term consequences of short-term fixes. Your needs may often be different from what is covered by your dental plan. When a we recommend dental treatment; we are looking out for your best interests going forward and your long-term dental health.

Whenever a patient comes in for a consultation, we provide a comprehensive oral exam and treatment plan to address all the dental issues identified. Our philosophy is to create a plan that addresses all early and potential problems before they become larger or more involved issues.  This may mean recommending a series of dental treatments that will address the visible or obvious symptoms as well as less obvious symptoms in an effort to prevent more serious dental issues in the future.

Some patients believe this is an attempt to get more money out of them. What they do not realize is that over time they spend more money on recurring quick fixes, while at the same time risking a future more expensive dental procedure as the condition worsens.

We are so committed to providing the best dental care and patient education that we have two treatment coordinators on our team; their primary role is ensuring that patients understand the treatment options and choose the treatment plan that is the most beneficial for them.Thank you for taking time to read this article, if you ever have any questions about the treatment we recommend, we encourage you to ask questions. We want to be as transparent as possible about the treatment we recommend and why we believe it will be beneficial to you.

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Guest Tuesday, 20 November 2018