Multi-Stage Smile Restoration
Multiple Treatments to Solve Complex Dental Problems Most dental cases are standard and straight forward. It’s about applying a high standard of care to one treatment method to get the desired results. Common procedures include tooth extractions, dental bridges, applying braces to a row of teeth or small procedures that require only one diagnosis and one main visit (braces require simple adjustments throughout the treatment). Some cases, though, are complicated and a dentist must utilize multiple treatments to achieve a singular outcome—their patient’s optimal oral health. For these situations to yield successful results, a dentist must think ahead and be organized and detail-oriented. It often takes a simple approach to help a patient through a series of issues that are plaguing their teeth, gums and jaw. With treatments that are performed across multiple stages, a dentist must navigate a complex set of steps in a manner that is logical and will produce the best results with the least amount of discomfort and keeping costs in check. It’s a matter of examining, sequencing and prioritizing so that the more serious oral issues are solved first. Here at Barrie Dentist we often tackle cases that require the creation and execution of a multi-stage plan to deliver the most effective overall treatment. Let’s review how we diagnose and then build, sequence and prioritize the stages in a way that will solve any dental issue. Our goal is to make sure you are comfortable undergoing complex treatments and know you are in good hands. Diagnosing Multiple Issues As with any good plan, you need to start with a thorough and proper diagnosis. We invest in the most cutting-edge technologies that help us precisely and quickly diagnose the issues so that we can get started with the treatments as soon as possible. Typically, the first stage is a dental consultation where the patient will explain what they think the issues are and where they are experiencing pain and discomfort. The idea is to gather as much information about the patient’s current oral health and their emotional state. Next, our staff will perform an oral exam that includes the use of state-of-the-art digital x-rays, and sometimes the use of our new digital dental scanner. This technology expedites the diagnostic stage and helps us reach clear conclusions in less time. Once the overall diagnosis has been made, we’ll work with you to develop a sensible treatment plan that will confront each oral issue and help spread the costs out over whatever time frame works for you. We also provide dental financing for our more complicated procedures. Just ask us when you’re in for your initial consultation and we’ll provide all the details. Building a Dental Plan The second step to building a multi-stage dental plan is to set concrete goals. Every stage will be dedicated to achieving these goals. During the early planning stages, we always ask ourselves:
- How can we best ease a patient’s pain?
- How can we get a patient on the path to healing as quickly as possible?
- How can we avoid any issue worsening?
Once it’s determined that no other problems exist, it becomes a matter of prioritizing. This ensures that the more severe challenges are handled first, and the lesser ones later. While always a key component of our initial consultations, the examination process to determine and outline multiple issues takes on greater importance. With respect to multiple-stage treatments, a patient typically needs to commit more time to allow the dentist to perform additional exams and testing, imagery and other items to help us identify the issue and plan an appropriate treatment. During the course of examination, a dentist should be able to:
- Gain insight into the health of the jaw and if it is in its proper position.
- Check for signs of wear or damage to teeth, and overall gum conditions.
- Determine if a patient is having difficulties with chewing, speaking or swallowing.
- Uncover all issues that require treatment, immediate or otherwise, and create a rough outline of stages.
These points form the basis of an early checklist that a dentist should conceivably follow. Data derived from the initial consultation and examination will influence every stage and ensure the patient receives the necessary care. Stages of Treatment Complex treatments require each stage to be tackled independently. This means a dentist will look to fix a multitude of issues by ensuring that every step and procedure per stage is completed. No multi-stage treatment can work if only 60% is effective. Furthermore, not solving one issue could lead to greater problems down the line. For most, cost is obviously an important factor and additional stages will mean additional treatment costs. As the stages are being built, we remain conscientious of cost and want to ensure that every associated fee is transparent. Part of the initial consultation will be devoted to reviewing your dental insurance coverage and discussing financing options. Sequencing Sequencing is the process of prioritizing the different treatment methods determined by the dentist and communicated to the patient. This is where the dentist will organize all the stages into an order to be executed over a series of appointments. It is during the sequencing stage that a dentist will flex their ability to handle complex issues and distill them into a comprehensive plan of action. To organize the stages into a proper sequence of treatments, a dentist should:
- Review the stages and the different treatments they plan to use.
- Determine if one or more specialists need to be brought in at any point as this can impact scheduling.
- Outline how long the entire process will take and make sure the patient understands what they are in for and how to care for themselves post-treatment.
- Order the treatments in a way that will resolve the most serious issues first. Additionally, this order needs to be logical. Some stages can only be completed once other steps have been taken. For instance, a tooth needs to be extracted before a dental bridge is installed.
Guiding Patients Through Multi-Stage Treatments Getting a diagnosis of a single oral health issue can be tough for patients. Receiving multiple diagnoses covering an array of issues can be extremely difficult for a patient to cope with. It’s no secret that the more time a patient needs to spend in a dentist’s chair, the more anxiety they could experience. At Georgian Dental®, we take a holistic approach to helping patients get their smile in style. Sometimes referred to as alternative or integrative or biologic dentistry, holistic dentistry means we consider a patient’s oral health needs in the larger scope of their mental and physical health. This is never more important than when a patient is undergoing a multi-stage smile restoration. We also adhere to the principles of biocompatibility of materials at every stage. Each stage is customized to ensure that no material used will negatively impact a patient or prolong treatment in any way. Early in the process, we consult with a naturopathic doctor to test how a patient will respond to dental materials that will be used over the course of treatment. This helps us minimize the potential for unpleasant surprises to occur. For the dental anxious, we offer sedation dentistry, which would involve sedating you during your treatments – which many patients find very helpful. Time will also be dedicated to making sure all your questions are answered with respect to treatment duration, number of appointments, cost and post-treatment care. We will also demystify every stage so you understand what is being done to your mouth. Book Your Appointment Today! No matter how complex and challenging your oral health issues might be, Georgian Dental® can create a thorough and effective plan to help. We recommend not wasting any time as persistent problems won’t magically go away on their own, and the pain will get worse. If you are experiencing a multitude of issues with your teeth, jaw or gums, then you should immediately book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our dental professionals in Barrie, Ontario. We can help, regardless of how complicated you think your dental situation is.