October 2016 - Prosthodontist in Johannesburg
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October 2016

So many different questions are presented at the initial telephone call to the practice.questions

  • How much does an implant cost?
  • How much do you charge for a consultation
  • Do you charge medical aid rates?
  • Can I have a quote for a [particular procedure]?

I would venture to say that the caller is using one of these or similar questions to open the conversation in looking for a good, honest dentist. They have a problem and they are seeking a solution.

A recent caller wanted a quote for implant procedures. She had seen another practitioner who had given her a quote and she wanted to know if we could do it cheaper.

She presented the pertinent treatment codes as well as a note in which she wrote “I currently have a bridge, but the back ‘pillar’ is busy crumbling away and has no filling left. I was scheduled for the above procedure on Friday, 14 October, but simply not in a position to pay a shortfall of almost R9000 . Your urgent help with this will be greatly appreciated.

Can you identify with her dilemma? I certainly can. She has a problem and she needs help.

Let’s analyse the situation together.

I replied to the email with a phone call because the work was scheduled for the very next day and she was looking for an immediate answer.

I asked the following questions:-

  • Who is responsible for doing the final bridge?
  • Has there been liason between the restorative dentist and the surgical colleague?
  • What type implant system is to be used?
  • Have she been presented with a total cost from start to finish?
  • Has she been presented with treatment alternatives?

She was unable to answer these questions satisfactorily.

We are dealing with a problem in her mouth. Does she fully understand the proposed treatment and outcome?

Consider this. You are setting about building a new house. Does the electrician or plumber start doing his work without the direction of the architect?

All dental treatment begins with proper planning to achieve a sound long-term result.

Who is the architect for any dentistry especially implant dentistry.

It is the prosthodontist. Spend your money wisely.