Consultation sessions are extremely important, and can be thought of as the basic unit of dentistry. They gives you a chance to talk to your dentist and see if this is a person you want to see every six months or so, gives you a chance to check out their clinic before you need any treatment, but most importantly, it gives the dentist chance to set up a dental diagnosis. This means they can run a cancer screening, check the condition of your teeth and gums, tell you what is wrong with them, and write up a treatment plan. This often overlooked step is perhaps the real difference between a serious dentistry, and a hack job. Here is what you absolutely need to know about treatment plans as a patient.
What is a treatment plan?
A treatment plan is the written part of your dental diagnosis, when all of the problems that the dentist saw in the mouth will be written down, along with all the fillings you have, all of the previous work you have had done noted and accounted for. It is also a list of the dental treatments that the dentist recommends you, with prices included, so you know just what the dentist wants to do, and how much it will cost. Although some unforeseeable costs may be added along the way, it should give you a pretty good rough estimate of how much you will be spending. It also will give you the chance to ask “why?” Why this treatment and not a different one? Why a crown, why a dental implant? It will also give you a chance to talk to your dentist about your treatment specifically, making it the basic tool for communication between you and your dentist.
Treatment plan and second opinions
Treatment plans are also great because they make things a lot easier. They making getting a second opinion about treatments, costs and validity of diagnosis very easy, as the entire diagnosis, what it was based on and what kind of treatment they are recommending is all in one carefully prepared, easy to understand bundle. This means other dentists should have no problem understanding it, and thus can give you a second opinion easily. Also, if you need to or just feel like switching dentists, you can easily do so, and the treatment plan will give your new dentist a remarkably clear view of how your teeth are, what has happened to them until now, so they know what they are getting into. All medical information and dental x-rays should be attached to the treatment plan, too.