In this edition of Increasing Case Acceptance, we want to focus on elective esthetic dentistry. There really isn't anything more fun than talking to patients about things that involve improving their smile. The mistake that we make as dentists is we focus too much on the procedure in the beginning of giving them options of what we're going to do to them, specifically to make them look better.
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A much better strategy is for us to get photographs - really good photographs - in a systemic way to look at the teeth in their face, full-face shots, smile shots, maybe some retracted shots, and then to use a systematic protocol to analyze specifically what's wrong with their smile.
At the Dawson Academy, we use the Dawson Diagnostic Wizard software to do that. And that program will not only allow you to specifically see what's wrong with the smile by utilizing the tools, but most importantly you can then sit down with the patient and specifically show them how they depart from what could be a really good smile.
Once you start visualizing that in your mind's eye, you'll - with confidence - be able to tell the patient whether it's an orthodontic solution, a restorative solution, an ortho-restorative solution, or maybe even an orthognathic solution to be able to get the teeth looking really, really good.
Remember, as restorative dentists, it is our responsibility to hold the standard very, very high. And so when patients start coming in and looking for solutions in how they can look better, remember esthetic dentistry is just one part of a complex plan. We also have to consider the optimum health of the tissues, having restorations that are going to be cleanable, having an optimal occlusal scheme so those restorations will last and serve the patient for a long time.
But I think from the standpoint of communicating with patients about elective dentistry, use good photography, use that systematic approach to analyze their smile, and then you'll help the patient understand what will be the best treatment option for them that's going to be appropriate to give them the smile that they've hope for. I think if you implement those strategies in your practice, that you will definitely increase case acceptance, and that's something that you'll enjoy doing for a very, very long time. Good luck.