Patients seek the assistance of our profession for many concerns, some of which include disease prevention, relief of pain, and cosmetic improvements. With so many patients from different backgrounds presenting for an array of reasons, it is very reasonable to question how can you, the dentist, create an accurate treatment plan for each of these patients?
It all begins with the complete examination.
Gathering the appropriate diagnostic information is critical. Equally so, we must listen and document each patient’s chief concern. Without thoroughly understanding a patient’s wants and needs, it is impossible to accurately treatment plan. Our goal: Provide the solution that solves the patient’s concerns/problems with the least amount of dentistry.
So where do we go from here?
Keep the patient’s chief concerns as your guide. Begin utilizing a systematic approach to process the information obtained from the examination. Use The Dawson Academy 16-Step Functional Esthetic 2D checklist and 10 Step 3D Dental Treatment Planning Checklist. Block your schedule and allow yourself time to THINK through each step. These checklists ensure you address all the variables every time—reducing errors thus increasing accuracy. Talk about gaining confidence in your treatment planning!
Just for thought: I even like to highlight each step that solves a patients stated wants and needs. At the treatment plan presentation, I restate each concern (in the patients own words whenever possible) and how my plan solves said concern. Give it a try!