A patient recently came into a DOPS client’s office after noticing a dark spot on the occlusal surface of tooth #18. There was a stain on an old composite, but it wasn’t leaking or needing repair, just a polish. This was a new patient in their practice, and he was worried that the tooth was going to start hurting. He had been missing #19 for many years and, although he had continued to seek somewhat routine dental care, he had never chosen to replace the missing tooth. The dentist took the standard set of images, including the entire upper and lower arch using DOPS.
After the exam and looking at the images, it was apparent that the larger problem was a leaking amalgam filling on tooth #21. After zooming in on the images using DOPS on an iPhone, the patient could easily see their need for treatment in this area. Also, after seeing the picture of the entire arch the patient was unhappy with the appearance of the missing tooth. The patient was not interested in an implant, so the dentist and patient decided the best course of action was to do a PMZ bridge on #18 X #20 and an E-max crown on #21. After explaining the situation and showing the images to the patient, it was clear this was the correct treatment. It was getting close to lunch, and the patient lived far away, so the dentist and his assistant worked through lunch prepping this bridge and crown. This case turned what was looking like an average to low production day into a pretty good production day for his office. So, what was it that made this patient decide to start treatment now?
Without the detail and clarity of the DOPS images to identify the true problem, this patient would not have felt comfortable moving forward with the treatment. He had trust in the dentist because he could see the problem and wasn’t feeling like the dentist was trying to take advantage of him. The detail of the images taken using an iPhone displayed the problem the patient was describing.
Now, instead of only a polish on a single tooth, the dentist was able to provide much better service while solving a problem that would have plagued the patient for years. DOPS also allowed the dentist to identify a need that the patient wasn’t fully (or at all) aware of had the images not been there to prove it.
DOPS provides the dentist the ability to treatment plan because the pictures tell the exact story. DOPS also provides the patient confidence that the dentist is being honest and up front with him/her and presenting a clear picture of what is happening. If a dentist can provide the information to justify 1 crown, or, in this case, 2 crowns and a bridge, then DOPS has paid for itself many times over.
Trust is big in our industry - We live in a skeptical world. When we show patients x-rays, or intra-oral camera pictures that are hard to relate to, patients are thinking in their mind,” is this treatment really necessary?” DOPS was designed to build that trust, providing high quality images that patients can view and relate to in a way they are comfortable with.