Your Involvement

Let your dentist know:

  • What outcome (end-result) you want and do not want to occur including appearance, improvement in chewing food, and elimination of pain
  • Your concerns about the process of care including (1) the time to complete planned treatment, (2) the number of appointments, (3) when you will or won’t be available for appointments, and (4) the cost for care that you will be responsible for
  • (1) drugs you can’t take or prefer not to take, (2) drugs that you prefer to take for an infection (antibiotics) or pain (analgesics, narcotics), (3) adverse events associated with prior medical or dental treatment, and (4) past and present health conditions

Ask your dentist to explain:

  • The severity of conditions affecting your (1) teeth and (2) gums
  • Your risk that, without appropriate personal and professional interventions, the condition of your (1) teeth or (2) gums will worsen
  • The factors that contribute to worsening or prevent worsening of the condition of your (1) teeth and (2) gums
  • The clinical observations that will be used to evaluate the effects of treatment and manage your oral health
  • (1) the expected outcomes of each treatment option including good and bad and how the results might affect future treatment choices, (2) how much each option is expected to cost, (3) how often appointments would be needed and when treatment would be expected to be complete, (4) what you can do to contribute to a good outcome or what you might do that could adversely affect the desired outcome, (5) what information isn’t currently known and how it could become known to validate or change the treatment plan, (6) what could go wrong during treatment and how the situation could be managed, (7) how much discomfort and time lost from work could be expected, (8) what might happen if you merely continue to do what you have been doing, (9) issues of active surveillance (watchful waiting) and (10) how much time you have to ponder your options
  • What your dentist could do to prevent or reduce the likelihood that conditions affecting your teeth and gums will worsen
  • What you could do for yourself to prevent or reduce the likelihood that conditions affecting your teeth and gums will worsen
  • How and where you can learn more about your condition and treatment options