How to Involve the Patient in Planning Aesthetic Dentistry


With aesthetic dentistry, it’s obvious to the patient if their expectations have not been met, and patients have increasingly high, and possibly unrealistic expectations of results.

Effective communication is the key to success, and planning involving the patient using digital imaging can help them visualise the end result and avoid any upsets later.


Managing Expectations

Aesthetic dentistry is, generally, far more open than it has ever been before, meaning that a dentist’s work is under increased scrutiny.

The best way for dentists to be able to meet patients’ expectations is to use this openness to their advantage, and involve patients as much as possible in the planning stages of aesthetic dentistry.

Aesthetics are subjective, which means there is a danger that the patient’s expectations of the outcome will not align with the dentist’s, unless the dentist can provide clear visualisation before undertaking any aesthetic work.

“One of the most common causes of failure in aesthetic dentistry is miscommunication,” Pete Higson of RPA Dental points out. “Dentists have various communication aids at their disposal, including digital imaging, which they should be using to manage patients’ expectations.”


Increased Visibility

Digital dental imaging software can boost the image of what the dentist can offer, as well as providing clear, practical benefits. It elevates patients’ awareness of cosmetic dentistry, while at the same time helping to manage their expectations.

The best way to use digital imaging is to help explain to the patient of the benefits of aesthetic dentistry in the first place. It’s about keeping things in the realms of what is achievable, to show patients the reality of their situation, and in so doing, help them plan the solution.

Increasing this understanding of what the patient’s teeth are like goes hand in hand with then explaining what can be done.

The difference between what is an acceptable or spectacular outcome may rest on how the patient sees their teeth in their “before” stage as much, or more, than when they experience the result.

“The possibilities for aesthetic dentistry solutions are continuing to grow, but patients’ expectations can grow alongside them, and may be unrealistic,” Pete states. “imaging is one more service that can help enhance this experience, but also, crucially, give patients a clear idea of what condition their teeth are in and what outcome they can realistically expect.”

RPA dental provides a wide range of digital imaging equipment to support dental professionals in their work.