Are delaying actions worth doing?
I learned a few years ago to stop offering delay tactic services. I avoid doing build ups if the patient is not ready for a crown. I stopped doing fillings to save crowns unless I know for certain it is a long term solution. If I treatment plan a posterior root canal, the crown is always included.
Because when you offer a patient a way out of what they really need, they will almost always take the easy way. But when the problem comes back worse, they won’t often remember you were just trying to help them. They seem to only remember your work failed.
- “This crown did not bother me till you touched it.”
- “Your filling (build up) is bad because I always get food caught between my teeth now, no I don’t remember you telling me it needed a crown”
- “You did a root canal last year and now the tooth is broken and useless.”
Patients have short memories.
When you stop offering temporary treatments as much, interesting things happen:
- Treatment acceptance magically goes up as well.
- Patients are happier
- Patients find a way to pay more often than not
- Your stress level goes down
Can you find exceptions to this? Of course. You must always use your best judgement in every case. At the same time, it is helpful to ensure you are not unintentionally giving your patients an “out” that will cause you and them more stress and heartache later.