Managing patient expectations

Image of a camera with an attractive lady in focusManaging patient expectations. The explosion of social media has brought a new wave of patients seeking to create the best aesthetic version of themselves, says Priya Sharma.

Aesthetic dental treatments have risen in recent years, as has the level of patient expectations.

Unrealistic ‘filtered, airbrushed’ celebrity culture constantly bombards social media. This has led people to feel that there is a necessity for creating the best version of themselves. Patients have information at their fingertips 24/7 and know exactly how they want their smile to evolve. 

It is imperative to establish at the outset what the dentist can achieve realistically in order to align it with reality. The General Dental Council’s Standards for the Dental Team states the following:

‘Patients expect:

  • To feel listened to and have their preferences and concerns taken into account
  • Treatment as an individual and have personal cultures and values respected
  • That all members of the dental team will be honest and act with integrity
  • That all aspects of their health and wellbeing will be considered and they will receive dental care that is appropriate for them…’

First steps to managing patient expectations 

It becomes the goal of the clinician to remove the gap between expectation and reality. It is therefore paramount that an open, unbiased patient consultation takes place with full engagement from the patient.

Treatment plan

A thorough examination along with a patient’s dentomedical and social history will lay the foundation of a successful treatment plan. It is important to determine at the initial stages and throughout the…

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