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Unrealistic expectations only lead to disappointment

15 July 2014
'Twenty years younger' is a popular phrase but certainly not always achievable in dentistry. Making the patient aware of the reality before treatment begins is the best way to protect yourself...

A patient presented with a series of blade implants placed by a previous practitioner. At the patient’s request the blade implants were taken out and new implants inserted. They subsequently failed and further remedial treatment was required.

Part of the patient’s concern was the failure to meet her aesthetic and functional demands which stemmed from a suggestion that she wished to look 20 years younger. This was a request to which the dentist had agreed instead of recognising the need to make the patient understand what was realistically achievable and what was not.

Learning point:
Dentists must take account of the overall dental condition of the patient and the patient’s ability to co-operate with the demands of the treatment when making a treatment plan, particularly where active co-operation is required.
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