July/August 2020 Social Commentary
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WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT PROVIDING PERIODONTAL THERAPY?
Desiret Canales, RDH Dimensions Brand Ambassador
Patient acceptance, insurance dictating fees, and patients not willing to pay out of pocket if their insurance doesn’t cover periodontal therapy.
Stacie Neely, RDH Dimensions Brand Ambassador
Patient compliance. I can provide treatment and educate patients, but when patient compliance with self-care and recare frequency are not maintained, periodontal therapy can be very challenging!
Lisa Bilich, RDH, BSDH, MEd Dimensions Brand Ambassador
Periodontal maintenance patients not wanting to come in if their dental insurance will not pay. Frustrating to spend my time in an evaluation appointment to discuss the need to come in for periodontal therapy, then the last thing the patient says, “Will my insurance pay for it?”
Lacy Walker, RDH, CDA Dimensions Brand Ambassador
The hardest part I believe is case acceptance. Patients need to understand that this is a silent disease that can affect not only their systemic health but the strength of their periodontium, which, if not addressed in a timely manner, can lead to bone and tooth loss. Patients need us to explain the consequences. Even if the answer is “no” right now, they may change their mind to “yes” once they have a better understanding of the disease. Don’t give up!
Carolyn Patenaude, CDA, BS, RDH, MSEd Dimensions Brand Ambassador
Once patients have accepted the need for periodontal therapy, the next challenge is to help them understand that periodontal disease is chronic. It may not be active, but it is something that patients must continue to treat beyond initial scaling and root planing. They need more frequent recare for periodontal maintenance and may require localized treatment with adjuncts. There is not a “one and done.” Patients need to understand that they have active disease and require frequent periodontal maintenance instead of a prophy. I try to explain this to patients by comparing it to other systemic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. Once diagnosed, even if well controlled, the disease is still present but in remission, and patients must continue to follow protocol to prevent relapse.
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From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. July/August 2020;18(7):11.