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Consumer Information About Cosmetic DentistryDental Articles

Anesthesia & Sedation ArticlesClinical Dentistry ArticlesCosmetic Dentistry ArticlesDental Assisting ArticlesDental Hygiene ArticlesDental Humor ArticlesDental Materials ArticlesEndodontics ArticlesFixed Prosthodontics ArticlesImplant ArticlesLaboratory Technology ArticlesOral Surgery ArticlesOrthodontics ArticlesPedodontics ArticlesPeriodontics and Prevention ArticlesPractice Finance & Regulations ArticlesPractice ManagementPractice Management - MarketingRadiologyTest PreparationTMJ and Occlusion Articles

Aesthetic Evaluation Form • Bonding Procedure for All-Porcelain Crowns and Onlays • Color metamerism in teeth • 
Porcelain Veneer Bonding Procedure • Shade-Matching Technology • Should etching be performed as part of a vital bleaching technique? • Treatment Coordinator

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Doing Cosmetic Dentistry with a
Treatment Coordinator

Cosmetic dentistry is fun to do, and can be very profitable. But if you do it right, it requires a lot of communication. And this is why you need a treatment coordinator. Let me explain the need for a treatment coordinator by setting the stage first.

Cosmetic dentistry is actually very different from general dentistry. There's an article posted on about what is a cosmetic dentist that is very interesting. General dentists and specialists are trained to fix things. Cosmetic dentists, on the other hand, are dedicated to creating things. When someone comes to you who is unhappy with his or her smile, it's not just a simple diagnosis as you would make for an infected tooth or a cracked filling, where you would look over the situation, say "hmmm..." and announce how you plan to fix this problem. When you're doing cosmetic dentistry, you have to ask a lot of questions about the patient's perception of his or her smile. What is it they don't like about the smile? What style of smile do they like? What color do they like? What is their image aspiration—do they want to be seen as sexy, or as businesslike?

And then, when you've settled those issues, there are all the treatment options. Do you bleach first? Should you bleach the lowers? Do you bleach the back teeth and do four veneers? Do you include the canines and do six? Maybe you should do ten. Do you veneer the lowers or just bleach them? Do you close the diastema with direct bonding or with veneers? So many choices. It's a lot of talking, but if you want satisfied patients, and if you are being a true cosmetic dentist who tailors the treatment to the aspirations of the patient, you have to have a high level of communication.

This is where the treatment coordinator comes in.

What a treatment coordinator does

Your treatment coordinator should be thoroughly familiar with dentistry. An experienced dental assistant with excellent communication skills, who may be getting a little burned out with chairside work, and who is looking for a little higher pay, is an excellent candidate. Get someone likeable.

You, the dentist, do the examination, with the treatment coordinator assisting you and taking notes. You determine all the clinical parameters. Set a range of options of what you consider acceptable treatment. Then turn the treatment coordinator loose with the patient. She (or he) will explain the proposed treatment to the patient, will discuss the options available, will answer all the patient's questions, and will total the cost. If you have a video imaging computer, she will prepare a simulated photograph of how the treatment will look. If financial arrangements are necessary, she will set up a meeting with your business manager and may help the patient fill out the credit approval forms. She will explain insurance benefits to the patient.

The treatment coordinator may come back to you for any unusual questions from the patient, but, other than that, she will take care of the patient entirely. She will return to you for final approval of the treatment plan the way the patient has accepted it, before any work is scheduled. That is the limit of your involvement until you see the patient for treatment. Patients will feel pampered with attention. They have time and access to get all their questions answered. Frequently patients will call back and ask to speak with the treatment coordinator for further questions about treatment. When you begin to treat the case, the treatment coordinator will present you with a computer-simulated photograph of the case the way the patient wants it, along with any notes about the patient's preferences.

Doing cosmetic dentistry requires excellent communication with the patient. Your patient can't feel rushed or pushed, and must feel that the person delivering the information has their best interests at heart. Excellent dental care, especially cosmetic dental care, doesn't happen without a high level of trust felt by the patient. And an excellent way to achieve that communication and trust is with a highly trained, personable treatment coordinator.

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More articles
America's Dental Bookstore maintains this collection of articles on dentistry submitted by visitors to our site. These could be clinical tips, research articles, opinion articles, dental jokes, or whatever. Do you have something you'd like to submit? If so, click here to submit an article.