When patient’s are considering advanced dental procedures at our clinic, we ensure that we sit down with them and provide a comprehensive report so that we can discuss their options and help the patient make an informed decision. Writing reports for patients is something we have been doing for many years and we have found that this has helped our patients understand their dental care better than if we hadn’t taken the time and effort to provide them with such detailed information and choices.
I recently was having this discussion with one of our patients as I was presenting his CBCT scan and report to him regarding his failing upper central incisor. We were discussing options to replace this tooth as it could not be treated anymore. The favoured choice was to have a dental implant to replace the tooth with a permanent fixed solution. The patient really wanted this but he said he felt ‘guilty’ or even ‘selfish’ that he was having his front tooth replaced when his wife at home has been struggling with upper and lower dentures for over 20 years. The patient felt that he should not be helping himself if he is unable to help his wife.
I suggested to the patient that he should bring his wife in with him to his next appointment so that I can provide her with options to help her with her loose dentures. He was very excited by this as he never expected that such help would be available to his wife, after all, she had suffered for over 20 years!
During that next appointment I met his wife and she was a lovely women who appeared resigned to having loose dentures and the associated struggles that come with this. I was able to offer his wife an assessment and some options to provide her with a more stable and functional alternative to a denture. She opted to have implant retained dentures and she was relieved that we could provide her with a solution to help her.
I have recently completed the treatment for both husband and wife. The wife is extremely happy that she has an improved smile and can eat and speak with much more confidence than before. For the husband, I feel he is much more happier knowing that his wife does not have to struggle with her dentures again as well as having his own tooth replaced with a fixed dental implant.
It makes me very proud that our team are able to help transform so many patient’s lives in this way. This case has raised and interesting thought though…What if I never offered to see the patient’s wife in the first place? Would the husband have lived with a denture and future dental problems as well?
Thank you for reading
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