As a patient of this new commodity, finding out what is best for you and who is best equipped to perform it, becomes increasingly difficult. Anybody can say anything in advertisements. There is virtually no professional control over advertising in organized dentistry. So how do you know what to do? Here are some simple, but still valid, ideas:
- Use observed ads only as a first step and do not rely on the flash and sizzle of the ad to make a decision. Respected clinicians most often do not need cute marketing jingles to define their abilities.
- Interview the prospective doctor and practice…yes…interview. It is your consultation with him or her as well as the doctor’s with you. Consider your “gut” feelings.
- Ask the questions and evaluate the person:
- Experience level – Ask how many procedures have you done over what time period.
- Training – Weekend courses are not enough.
- Success rates – Should be in the high 90 % range.
- Referral list – Satisfied patients (and call them.)
- Do not let fees drive your decision – There are no bargains in well done implant dentistry. A significantly lower fee for the same procedure can only be possible if the doctor is buying cheap materials (not a good thing), making no profit (also not a good thing) or just doing you a favor ( a good thing ). When cost is a barrier, it is even more important to have an experienced implantologist to work with. He or she will know and have performed the various treatment choices and be able to suggest, less costly approaches along with their pros and cons. This provides you the opportunity to make a good choice.
- Is the whole experience about you? When a doctor’s motivation is in the right place, the experience in the office will be about you as a person, who also happens to be a patient. This means there is plenty of face time with the doctor. Questions are invited. No effort is too much to help you come to the appropriate decision. I have heard many “horror stories” from patients about quick consultations, pushing a specific treatment like “mini implants”, or “Hybridges” and in general folks feeling like the experience was about the doctor doing his/her thing, not about the person’s own needs.
- Take your time and realize that as in most things in life, shortcuts in the process cut short successful results.
A friend and mentor of mine, Dr. Michael Schuster, asks the question: “Has dentistry lost its soul?” He is talking about these very issues. Well it is definitely on its way. There are still doctors out there however who do put the person first and the finances second. Embracing the suggestions above will help you find them and end up with a successful outcome.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. During my entire career in dentistry, I have always endeavored to help people in any way possible whenever I could. This includes being a source of good information. After all, how else can most people know “the rest of the story.”
East Aurora Implant Dentistry
If you would like to learn more about Dental Implants or your specific problem, Dr. Meisner’s office is located at 250 Quaker Road, East Aurora, NY and can be reached at (716) 655-3500 or visit their website at www.RMeisner.com.