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"My old dentist never told me that..."

...is the repeated and retorting line of many patients when they first visit us for an in depth consultation. When you have the name TAHA Dental Excellence people expect a certain high standard and you have to try and consistently deliver this - which is no mean feat in itself. So in these hour or so long consultations I try and assess every single possible detail I can to formulate an accurate assessment and highlight areas that require attention. In many cases it could be something quite simple such explaining the ideal cleaning routine to explaining complex extensive tooth wear and acid erosion.


We tend to explain every diagnosis and observation into a step by step concise manner backed up with evidence to support our assessments. Nonetheless it is quite common for people to utter the phrase "well I went to my previous dentist for years every 6 months religiously and they never told me any of what you are saying".


Now this is where is gets slightly complicated. On the one hand it may be true that certain things may have not been mentioned or on the other, it actually was mentioned and that you may be selectively remembering certain points only.


Nonetheless at these appointments one does not have too much time to get bogged down in perfunctory semantics. The situation presented is the present situation therefore one should focus on what the issues are and what can be done to avert potential issues in the future.


I can appreciate however that when a new patient sees us for the first time and gets a long list of things that need attention it can be seen as quite daunting. Thankfully many appreciate the effort we go to, to explain and show why certain things require attention rather than being quaestuary and out to take advantage of people.


So in short... your last dentist may or may not have explained certain things to you but we cannot alter the past and the reality is that when it comes to teeth it is better to know everything that is an issue, what could become a potential issue and how we can prevent potential issues.


It can be quite demoralising sometimes explaining all these problems to people that they didn't know they have, as no one likes to be the bearer of bad news but in the modern world of dento-legal ramifications one must be over-cautious and beyond the pales of virtue. Yes, we go into more detail than most, we see things others do not, so it does not mean something was done wrong previously it means that at that moment in time that was the best that could be delivered and at the end of the day that is all one can strive for... to give ones best.


Thomas

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