Five Levels of Dental Care
We understand that choosing a new dentist can be a challenge, leaving you feeling somewhat uncertain. A few years ago we wrote a philosophy or purpose for our practice. Briefly stated: With integrity and enthusiasm, our purpose is to help people achieve the highest level of well being personally appropriate for them and in so doing enhance the quality of their life and our own.
In other words, we help you be or become as healthy as you choose. This is a major departure from the way we were trained. Instead of telling you how healthy you ought to be, we will try to help you understand your choices about your dental health and then encourage you to make a free and informed choice. There are five levels in which people may choose to be seen in our practice. They are:
Level 1: Urgent Care
People in crisis or with an emergency problem such as pain, bleeding or swelling who need immediate help. We see urgencies immediately, whenever possible.
Level 2: Remedial Care
People who choose this level of care desire treatment only when something breaks or becomes uncomfortable. Generally people at this level choose (often out of financial necessity) to correct immediate problems with as little effort and cost as possible, even though the treatment might not represent a long-term solution. We understand some people will choose this level, and we will respect that choice. However, we truly believe this is not in the best interest of long-term dental health.
Level 3: Self Care
People choose this level of care if they want to keep their teeth for a lifetime in good or excellent comfort, function and appearance. People at this level choose to have a comprehensive examination, fully evaluating teeth, gums and supporting tissues, as well as the dynamic relationship of the jaws to the continued health of the system.
During the examination process we jointly formulate a long-term plan for their preferred dental future. However, due to current life circumstances or beliefs, they may follow a holding plan until they can proceed to a higher level. They are interested in what they can do, personally, to improve their dental health and arrest any active disease processes, but may not yet be ready to commence major treatment. People at this level are monitored through frequent preventive maintenance visits with our hygienists.
Level 4: Complete Dentistry
People at this level are similar to the people described above. They choose to have a complete examination and formulate a long-term treatment plan designed to achieve a dental future of choice not chance. Unlike the "Self Care" person they are ready to commence treatment. They also want to understand and control the causative agents of dental disease. Again, they interface with our preventive and hygiene departments before, during, and after treatment.
Level 5: Wellness Resource
People here are in excellent dental health. They want to see the hygienist one to four times per year, with complete monitoring examinations done annually by the dentist. These people practice highly effective levels of nutrition with home care and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our intent would be to assist these people in finding others in the community who might help them attain even higher levels of personal well-being.
We hope these levels make sense to you. It is not uncommon for people to begin at a lower level and progress over time. If we can help you with your decision regarding the level most comfortable for you to begin.