How many times have you left a doctor’s office and then remembered the question you meant to ask? It is sometimes difficult to think of all the possible questions concerning treatment in one appointment. These 14 questions will keep you on track:
- How long have you been performing the type of procedure I am considering? How many do you perform a year?
- Am I a good candidate for the proposed treatment?
- What type of anesthesia do you offer?
- Where will the surgery take place?
- How long will it take to complete the surgery?
- How painful is it after surgery?
- When can I return to work/school?
- How long is the entire treatment period (surgery, recovery, and any necessary follow-up)?
- Will I be given a written estimate for treatment?
- Will you file my dental insurance and provide all supporting documents and X-rays?
- Do you have payment plans, preferably with interest-free options?
- Are you board certified?
- Have you written books or journal articles on periodontal surgery?
- Do you lecture at continuing education events and educate your referring dentist colleagues?
So, how will you know if the doctor and the staff have given you the correct answers to the above questions? By the time you complete reading this book, you will recognize each correct answer when you hear it.
Secret: The surgeon should provide a “before” and “after” album at your request.
The human mind learns best with pictures. If the word elephant is said, what comes to mind? E-l-e-p-h-a-n-t or a picture of an elephant? Probably the latter. That is why your treatment options not only should be explained, but also shown with pictures. A good “before” and “after” album or video will help you get a sense of the outcome to expect.
It is amazing when we hear stories of patients who have visited other offices and were never given a chance to look at this type of album. Would you build or remodel a house before reviewing work your potential contractor has performed? We think not, and your dental work should be no different.