Patient Centered Health Care

A family happy with Dr. Shapiro's patient centered health care.You may be aware of the news about a dentist in Florida who was accused of abusing his pediatric patients by doing much more dentistry then necessary, including extractions, and billing Medicaid for it. If true, this act goes way beyond Medicaid fraud.  This dentist assaulted his young patients. This is not patient centered health care.

It is unfortunate but I personally believe that this type of treatment occurs more commonly than we could ever think. I have seen patients passing through my office who were recommended treatment which was aggressive and at times unnecessary. There have been patients who were recommended  crowns on teeth that could easily be filled. In my photo gallery there are pictures of a 24-year-old patient who had worn front teeth.

Another bad example:

Another dental office recommended that he have 12 veneers placed while offering no other treatment options. His top front teeth were severely worn and could have benefited from porcelain veneers but his lower teeth did not require veneers at all. I used composite restorations to replace the portion of the tooth which was worn away them while preserving remaining tooth structure.

Patient Centered Health Care

This is all my humble opinion but it is based on over 30 years of experience. It is also based on the concept that it’s the obligation of the provider to inform patients of all of their treatment options and explain the pros and cons of each option. This allows patients to participate in their care. This may seem like a time-consuming practice but in the end it saves time and money and results in happier patients. Most medical malpractice lawsuits occur not from poor outcomes, but from a lack of communication. Patients become upset after getting disappointing results often feel they never were presented with other options which now seem like the better choice.

Too many medical providers are driven by a profit centered approach to care, while many patients are often looking to spend the least.  There is a happy medium where better educated patients are informed of the value of treatment options. The best approach to medical care is a patient centered educational approach where informed consent is the backbone of treatment.This is patient centered health care.

How we serve you.

So what does this mean to you? It means you need to ask questions and participate in your care. Providers who have their patients best interest at heart encourage questions and are willing to listen to their patients. And if by chance you feel like your doctor isn’t listening to you, find a new doctor. In the end, the reality is that we teach people how we want to be treated, accept poor care and you will continue to receive it.

Till next time…

Keep Smiling Long Island

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