What do you imagine your teeth will look like in 5, 10, or 20 years? Many of us haven’t thought about it, but it’s something your dentist considers each time you come in for a check-up.
Using a dental hygiene care plan, your dentist can observe your long-term goals, manage current issues, and make note of any medical conditions. Here’s what goes into creating a care plan for dental patients:
What Does The Patient Need?
A care plan begins with an examination of the patient’s teeth. The dentist inspects each tooth and the surrounding gum tissue to diagnose any potential issues. In some cases, they may take x-rays to check on wisdom teeth.
Based on this knowledge, the dentist can create a treatment plan for the patient. For example, if early signs of periodontal disease are detected, the dentist can make recommendations on how to reverse that damage.
The observations made by the dentist are an important part of a patient’s care plan. By monitoring any issues and scheduling restorative treatments, your dentist can prevent problems from developing further.
Does The Patient Have Any Health Conditions?
Each of us has a unique set of oral health needs and conditions. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for dental hygiene. A care plan is affected by a range of factors, including:
- Allergies. Some patients may be allergic to certain ingredients used in a dental practice, such as latex or local anaesthetic. This is especially important to make note of—the dentist can substitute those products for ones that are safe for the patient.
- Dental anxiety. Many patients have trouble relaxing at the dentist’s office. If they deal with anxiety or a dental phobia, it might be difficult for them to attend appointments or have certain procedures performed.
- Medical history. The patient may suffer from conditions that make it more difficult to follow a regular oral hygiene routine.
- Risk factors. Is the patient particularly susceptible to any oral health diseases? Do they engage in lifestyle choices that compromise their dental health, such as drinking or smoking? Does the patient play contact sports?
Many things can interfere with a patient’s ability to care for their oral health. With a care plan, dentists can keep track of these issues, and work with the patient to develop solutions. They can also adjust the frequency of appointments based on these concerns.
What Are The Patient’s Goals?
Oral health goals benefit both the dentist, hygienist, and the patient. As the dentist, knowing the patient’s goals makes it easier to educate them about how to achieve them. They can provide written instructions on how to prevent cavities, staining, and discolouration. For the patient, their goals might include:
- Flossing before bed
- Avoiding coffee and red wine
- Slowing the progression of periodontal disease
Actively participating in their care plan helps patients hold themselves accountable to meet their oral health goals.
When the dentist and the patient create a care plan together, it ensures a better outcome. Visit your dentist regularly to ensure you’re on track for excellent oral health. With healthy teeth, you can do the things you enjoy in life without discomfort or pain.
If you’re looking for a Henderson dentist to create your dental hygiene care plan, we can help. We want you to be happy with your smile, and by working together, we can achieve that. Call EK Dental today to schedule an appointment.