Often we are asked at Brookside Dental to give second opinions or examine a relative of one of our patients who is uncertain about a dental treatment plan. Often they are not sure if they should go back to their dentist, because they did not believe they had any dental problems. The two most common things that raise these suspicions are their perception of the high cost of the treatment plan and the fact that they are not experiencing any pain. Often the patient may not understand what was being told to them by the dentist or staff. Whatever the reason, the patient does not trust the dentist. Trust takes a special relationship between dentist and patient.
The Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist should explain that the majority of cavities do not have any symptoms or pain. It is not until the cavity has been left untreated for a considerable amount of time and progressed to the point of being fairly deep that patients begin to experience sensitivity to heat and cold extremes or pressure. By the time pain occurs, the tooth will often require a root canal and crown. It is relevant at this point to remember that pain is not always an accurate gauge for the onset of dental or medical problems. Pain is usually associated with more severe dental problems of long duration than with early dental problems. Much like dental disease, medical conditions like heart disease and numerous cancers often develop in an unsuspecting person who does not experience any pain. If a tooth has extensive damage, has a large filling or cusp that is broken, or has undergone root canal therapy, the recommended treatment would be a crown on most back teeth. The crown is placed over the damaged tooth to help restore its previous appearance and strength. Well placed, high quality crowns with excellent margins should last for many years without any subsequent symptoms to the patient. It is, however, important that the Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist should explain in detail to the patient, the importance of having a crown placed on damaged posterior teeth, especially those with a root canal. Damaged posterior teeth that are not protected by a crown can split leading to future problems and expense.
An open dialogue with the patient about their dental problems and what treatment alternatives are available to them is the best approach for a good trusting relationship between the Seattle Family Dentist or Bellevue Family Dentist and the patient. At Brookside Dental, the dentists always take as much time as the patient requires for an extensive explanation of the dental treatment diagnosed and the associated fees. We always show the problem areas observed on the x–rays or during our intra–oral camera examination to the patient. We often have the patient use a dental mirror so they can see the problems exactly as we see them. Usually these techniques will corroborate what the dentist is explaining to the patient. If the patient needs additional information, we will often refer them to a specialist for an additional opinion. They are always free to seek any additional secondary opinion that they would feel comfortable using.