At Heritage Family Dental, we want you to enjoy the best dental health possible. In order for us to provide this benefit to you, we require your commitment to work with our dental team in developing a treatment plan.
A treatment plan is a “road map” that guides us through the complex process of obtaining optimum dental health. This plan is variable among people and may actually change over time depending upon your personal needs and desires. Despite the vast number of dental conditions that exist, all comprehensive treatment plans have some common elements as outlined below.
This phase of treatment focuses on eliminating or controlling diseases of the mouth to halt their destruction. Commonly, patients will come to a dental office because of pain caused by cavities or infection. This phase focuses on treating cavities (by placing fillings), eliminating infection (by root canal or tooth removal), and managing gum health (by dental cleanings or deep cleanings).
This phase of treatment focuses on restoring the function and/or form of the teeth and mouth following the destruction caused by the original disease process. Common treatments during this phase include prosthesis (implants, bridges, partials, and dentures) to replace missing teeth and crowns to protect teeth.
Oftentimes, this phase occurs in conjunction with the restorative phase. This phase focuses on altering non-ideal teeth or configurations to be more esthetic and appealing to the patient. Common cosmetic procedures include veneers and tooth space closing (by braces or bonding).
Once you have completed treatment, your relationship with Heritage Family Dental is not complete. The Maintenance Phase focuses on keeping your dental work in functioning order (through six month exams), maintaining health (by cleanings), and screening for oral cancer at each six-month exam.
Failure to develop and commit to a comprehensive treatment plan can lead to many issues and problems to you as the patient. A patient that seeks the dentist only for "EMERGENCY" treatment (ie. "I only want the tooth that hurts fixed"), cannot adequately manage or eliminate oral disease without a dentist's intervention. The diseases can progress leading to extensive damage that could have been treated earlier with less invasive procedures or avoided altogether.
"Emergency Only" treatment is oftentimes more costly to treat in the long run. This type of treatment is best illustrated as compared to vehicle maintenance. Regular oil changes ensure the engine stays in good working order. If you let the oil run low or get "over gunked," the engine light will eventually turn on. Once you notice the engine light is on, you visit the mechanic and learn there's been so much damage to the engine that it needs to be replaced. In hindsight, regular checks and oil changes could have prevented this issue. Visiting the mechanic after the engine light turned on is like visiting the dentist when your teeth hurt.
At Heritage Family Dental, we provide comprehensive care through a detailed treatment plan. We understand that sometimes emergency issues can develop unexpectedly and we encourage you to visit us as soon as possible.