Getting new dentures.
Providing dentures is a difficult task, pretty much the dark art of dentistry. It’s also a long and complicated procedure, both in the clinic where we see you the patient and in the laboratory where we process the dentures.
Now, the reason it is so difficult is that we are dealing with a human, most humans do not like having someone work in their mouth and feel on some level it is a violation of their personal space. Every patient is an individual and is completely different from any other person we have provided dentures for, and with most denture wearers there is usually some anxiety and fear of visiting a dentist and they probably have very limited knowledge of what is actually being done on each appointment in the provision of new dentures even if it is explained to them, they still might not understand completely, and they might feel tense or uneasy.
So it is important for us as the dental professional to have a good talk with the patient and understand exactly what it is they want. Equally important is for the patient to know what it is they require. There have been many occasions where I have asked, ‘what are your specific requirements?’, and the answer, ‘well you’re the expert, I’ll let you decide’. This is not going to give you what you want.
I have learnt that rather than talking and explaining, and going over different options, what patients need is to be shown something tangible or visual, make suggestions, and then let them decide what it is they want.
As a denture or a dental patient, ASK QUESTIONS! it is YOUR mouth and YOU are in charge when you visit a dental practice, not the dentist or dental professional.