Why You Should Work With Your Patients On Appliance Therapy: Part 4
The patient should notice improved occlusion after using an appliance. This can help them decide on further treatment.
by Dr. Lee Ann Brady
Part 3 of this mini-series was all about the power of a simple request. Ask patients to be active participants in their care. They know what they feel and experience better than anyone. By paying attention to how the appliance changes their occlusion, joints, and muscles, they can be a valuable partner in the treatment process.
Patients Never Directly Ask For Equilibration
After using the appliance, the patient should begin to put together a couple of key points.
They’ll realize that when they are wearing the appliance and their symptoms disappear, their teeth are touching in a different place than during the rest of the day.
This should lead to the secondary realization: Is there a way to get the teeth to always touch in the position that decreases symptoms?
This is the sort of question they will ask you. They will never directly ask for equilibration or any other treatment that will give them this result. So go ahead and find a way to help them realize they want the treatment, even if they aren’t sure what it’s called (or how it’s achieved).
The added benefit of appliance therapy is that appointments are generally stress free for the patient. You’re spending more time with them, getting to know them and their goals for dental health, and nothing involved leads to pain or discomfort.
An appliance may the only treatment the patient needs. Or it could lead to other comprehensive restoration treatments. You may find the process of working with the patient on appliance therapy to be unpredictable and time consuming, but in the end it can be valuable after some trial and error.