So many times I have the opportunity to help really sick people. These are people who are not foreign to dental care. They have been going to the dentist for many years but are feeling desperate. They have nothing to show for their efforts. The reason may be that they have been having repair dentistry done for many years and because of that they are finding themselves in a state of disrepair.
“Most people I find don’t lead their lives, they accept their lives.” John Kotter
Complete dentistry on the other hand is less expensive and is more stable. Steven Covey in his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, states in one habit Begin with the End in Mind. We must first create a vision of what health looks like. Then we must do an examination and determine current reality. From a careful interview the patient must have some idea of what values that they bring to the office. Knowing the concerns, and values, and an idea of what health looks like, along with the current situation, priorities can be established. It is at this point that the patient discusses possibilities, learning about the disease cycle, their role in breaking that cycle, and what priorities that they have, and a plan is co-developed.
With this plan, short and long term goals are established and with those priorities a patient starts to feel in control. Dental Disease can be reversed and long term health can be established if that vision is created as to what health looks like, priorities established and a patient takes part in their role to break that cycle. Knowing what the cause is and creating this strategy, the dentist does his/her part and the patient does their part.
A partnership is created. If there is no partnership their can be no healthy situation for this vision to come about.
I can’t tell you now many people come to my office thinking that they are in a good to excellent state of health only to find out that they are in an active disease state. This happens because of the style of dentistry that has been performed. If there is no comprehensive examination (what is going on), no comprehensive diagnosis (why it is going on), and no comprehensive treatment plan (how to improve the situation), the dentist is just performing repair dentistry. If this goes on long enough, just repairing body parts, the patient at the age of 50-70 will be in a state of disrepair. Not looking at the whole system and understanding causes of problems will just keep getting more of the same, until the system just can’t take it anymore.