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Did You Know You Have Responsibilities as a Dental Patient?

You do!  Dentists and their teams or their dental staff members have a lot of responsibilities to you as a dental patient.  But, you the patient have responsibilities – or we would like you to be responsible for the following things in order to receive the best possible care.

The patient (translation – you!) is responsible for these things:

  1. Good oral hygiene
  2. Good diet
  3. Control of destructive oral habits like nail biting, clenching or grinding
  4. Coming to dental appointments in a timely manner as recommended by your dentist
Dr. Gillis and Julie working on a patient.

Dr. Gillis and Julie working on a patient.

It is important to us to spend the time with you that you need to address your concerns and make you comfortable.

Fluoride:  Current recommendations by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) confirm the benefits of fluoride in preventing caries and the protective effects of fluoride including enamel remineralization and altering bacterial metabolism to help prevent caries.

Oral Hygiene:  You are responsible for the day-to-day care of your teeth and gums.  This may include all or some combination of brushing, flossing, rinsing, use of a waterpik or other hygiene aids.   We want to congratulate your efforts.  You may also be doing better in some areas of your mouth than others.  Our office is very happy to let you know what areas need extra care.

Proper Diet:  Limiting the intake of sugary or acidic foods is paramount but a healthy diet is good for your teeth and the rest of your body!

Crowns and Follow-Up:  The dentist putting in a crown is responsible for these things which we take very seriously:

  1. Making sure the crown preparation and any restorations are done as well as possible and educating the patient in the care of their dentistry.
  2. Making sure that the lab work is also high quality, the margins of the crown should be smooth, the occlusion or bite on the crown should be correct.

In our office there is never a charge to adjust the bite on a new crown for up to three months after it is placed.  Usually a patient will know if the bite is off within a day or two and it is usually a five minute procedure to correct this.  If there is a change in the way a tooth feels, a new x-ray will often be needed to properly evaluate this.  Our office will provide a free new crown for up to five years if a patient is seen regularly and there is a problem related to the fit or workmanship of the crown.

You should know that your dentist is not responsible for things out of their control such as the following:

  1. Your genetics – some teeth are softer, weaker, and more likely to have problems.
  2. Your diet or habits such as clenching and grinding
  3. Your oral hygiene.
  4. Your previous dentistry or the existing condition of your tooth or teeth.  Trauma to a tooth (cavities, fractures, stress from your diet or habits, and dental work) is cumulative and may add up to a tooth ache.

We appreciate your feedback as it is very important to everyone in our office to do our jobs as well as possible!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles