Everyone has a different relationship to their healthcare - different priorities and resources that define the kind of care you seek. We’re not judging, we promise! But in our experience, dental patients fall into one of three categories - and knowing which category fits you can help you (and your provider) determine your best plan of dental care.
The Reactive Patient
Comes to the dentist only when in pain or something specific has happened to the teeth
Pros: You’ll spend less time at the dentist, which would be appealing for anyone with dental anxiety.
Cons: You’re likely to experience more pain than most, and face potentially higher costs overall on things that aren’t caught early enough - a potential small filling now needs a root canal, a crown now becomes an extraction/implant because your dentist can no longer do anything to save the tooth.
The Proactive Patient
Comes to the dentist for regular checkups/routine cleanings and does minor work as needed (filling cavities, etc.)
Pros: You’ll maintain a solid, healthy dental condition and reduce your chance of being blindsided by bigger work later.
Cons: There is still the chance that, if only addressing minor work as you go, you will experience unexpected discomfort and cost if/when a tooth cracks or breaks down.
The Regenerative Patient
Interested in the most comprehensive, preventive dental treatment recommended - actively seeks out solutions to potential dental issues.
Pros: Covers all your bases, maintains optimal oral health, and gives you the best chance of avoiding unexpected cost and pain
Cons: Requires a larger time (and potentially monetary) commitment up front
So which type of patient are you, or do you fall somewhere in the middle? To be honest, we love to see patients fall on the spectrum between proactive and regenerative, as that gives us the best chance to help them achieve optimal oral health. But wherever you fall, make sure you are taking good care of your teeth at home and seeing your dentist as regularly as you are able!