Dentists Admit Feeling Pressured To offer unnecessary treatments
You might be unsure if it is really necessary if your dentists recommends a crown or wisdom teeth extraction. We don’t know the extent of this over-servicing. Our research, which include interviews with Australian dentists, has been publish today. This is not only a problem for patients but it also makes dentists feel pressured to suggest unnecessary treatment. This is encourage by the fact that dentists get paid to perform their services.
What Is Over-Servicing Dentistry?
There are many kinds of over-servicing, and each type has its own definition. Our research has shown that over-servicing in dentistry is when dental care is provided beyond what is clinically necessary or without any justification. Internationally, over-servicing in dentistry has been reported and is discussed online. It’s something we have known about in Australia for a while. A Sydney dentist was charged with performing nearly $75,000 worth of dental treatment on one patient. He knew it was ineffective and unnecessary, and was sent to court.
Another Sydney dentist found guilty in 2013 of serving elderly patients in nursing homes, some with dementia. He filed their teeth in order to fit crowns they didn’t need without anaesthesia. Over-servicing is not always as extreme as it appears in these court cases. We spoke with dentists who felt that they were often under-servicing as part of their daily practice.
What Dentists We Found
Interviews with and diary entries of 20 Australian dentists in private practice were analysis. This was the first study to examine their views on over-servicing. Many dentists that we spoke with felt under pressure to give unnecessary care. The pressure came from the owners of practices or their financial obligations. They talked about a culture of finding treatment in certain practices, as opposed to treating patients issues.
My first job too commercial so I quit. It was a matter of How many crowns do you do per week? Our clinicians should be doing at most one crown per day. There was no care factor to consider, such as what the patient really needs. It was a matter of Okay, I’m seeing a new patients, see if I can get this amount of revenue from that one.
Why Is This Dentists Happening?
Private dentists in Australia paid a salary that is link to the amount of treatment they provide. This fee-for-service system provides an incentive to them to offer more care than they provide. Over-servicing is not inevitable. Some participants claimed that their professions as dentists helped them to place patients ahead of profit.
My professionalism was always my top priority. There have been times when I recommended a crown. I was unsure if I did so because it was expensive or because I truly believe it is the best for the patient. Our dentists spoke out to say that they had spent much time thinking about how to manage patient care in a system that favours over-servicing.
What happens when the fee-for-service model change? As a trial in the United Kingdom, this might include a monthly charge for patients who register with a service or practice. Patients notice little difference in their clinical care, and the amount of treatment was reduce.
What Can We Do To Address This Problem?
The way that dentists paid could change to address the problem of over-servicing. Instead of focusing on how many dentists work, payments could tie to tangible improvements in oral hygiene. However, fee-for-service is so deeply rooted in Australian dentistry that we acknowledge this would be difficult despite increased awareness of the topic brought about by research like ours.
What If I Am unsure if I Need A Treatment Recommendation?
Ask your dentist if you aren’t sure why he or she recommends a particular treatment. Ask about other options. You can always ask for a second opinion if you aren’t satisfy with the answers. To avoid having to take them again, you should ask your dentist to provide a copy of your medical records and x rays. You will likely need to pay for another appointment if you visit another dentist. Your dentist is the best place to go if you are unhappy with your treatment. They really appreciate feedback and will try to make things right.