April 04, 2013

The Humanity of the Process

Success with patients depends upon the humanity of the process as much as the procedure itself.  As Muller Devan said in 1937: meet your patient's mind before their mouth. 
This week I met a special young man, 40ish, terrifically athletic and intellectually gifted, with a few broken and decayed teeth that had been ignored for years.  

In my mind was the question "why now?", and without asking, eventually the reason come out--in a tearful explanation that a recent medical event of a younger sibling provoked him to seek the right thing for himself. As much as this new patient was coming to me for my honest evaluation of his condition and his options for treatment, the treatment priorities, and the honest and realistic (informed consent) expectations of success, I was inspired by his emotional connection with his own needs.  While today's dentistry is mostly predictable, even though complicated treatment may involve roadblocks and detours due to initially unknown factors, a successful end result is more easily reached if there is understanding between prosthodontist and patient based on realistic expectations and shared commitment to treatment goals.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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