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Successful Dental Treatment

Getting the Best Possible Results

By Dr. John C. Kois

This article is endorsed by the
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Successful dental treatment.

Dentistry can do amazing things to change the way you look, feel and function. We as healthcare professionals want not only to treat you, but also to educate you about the “why” behind our recommendations. With more information, you are better equipped to make confident decisions about your health and treatment options. In addition, you are more likely to be successful in keeping your teeth vibrant and healthy.

We as dental professionals have learned, through science, research and technology, that when patients are looking to improve their health and appearance, it's essential for them to know what led to the current conditions in their mouths as those factors can have a significant impact on the success of their treatment. In order to create a foundation for future health as well as a beautiful new smile, your susceptibility to dental problems must be identified and managed as a team effort.

It is important for you and your dentist to have realistic expectations about what dentistry can and can't do. Successful results ultimately depend upon an analysis of all the factors that have made you “you,” dentally speaking. This includes your experience of tooth decay, gum disease, and bite or chewing problems. This type of analysis creates a basis for predicting successful treatment, both with and without dental care. Based on your unique diagnosis, a plan of action can be developed to correct or at least manage those factors that can interfere with the success of your treatment.

A plan for positive change should lay out what you can expect, detail how risk factors have contributed to your current condition, suggest changes that would benefit you going forward, and help determine how you will look and function after treatment.

Predictable success really is the name of the game. When your dentist considers your individual risk factors for disease, he or she is better able to advise you about dental treatment and safeguard your health. Hopefully, this understanding will allow you to change or modify behaviors so that your dental treatment will be more successful and you will achieve lasting health.

Cycle of Dental Care.
The cycle of dental care includes the identification, assessment and treatment of the causes of a patient's disease as well as future monitoring and maintenance of health.

Creating A Favorable Future

During your evaluation and treatment planning phases it is crucial to weigh factors that can increase or decrease elements of risk and affect prognosis (outcomes) in order to judge the chances of failure or success of particular treatments — before we undertake them. More simply stated, treatment decisions are favorable when risk for disease is lowered and compromised if risk cannot be controlled. You can think of it in the same way you would approach a home renovation. If you do a survey analysis of your house and find it has a weak foundation, risk for future problems goes up. You can improve success if you shore up the foundation first. And what if you are renovating a house on a fault line? Well, that is important to know beforehand as well. Sometimes we have to make decisions about how best to proceed, knowing that we cannot completely eliminate risks for future problems. Let's take a closer look at how all this relates to your dental health and aesthetic goals.