Proper understanding of the rationale and methods of treatment is paramount in our office. Informed consent is required for you to be able to make decisions. We make every effort to communicate your treatment options, consequences of treatment and non-treatment, and approximate treatment times and costs. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask.
Fear of the dentist has kept many people away from having the treatment they need and want. Proper anesthesia is important. Though many people do not look forward to having dental treatment performed it is our goal to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
It is our belief that restorations should return the tooth to its original form, function, and appearance whenever possible. Though no scientific evidence has concluded that amalgam fillings cause harm, they are not used in our office. Amalgam fillings contain mercury atoms within their structure and have been banned in several countries in Europe.
Minimal Intervention Dentistry (MID)
The best treatment is often no treatment or minimal treatment. Prevention and early diagnosis of dental disease result in minimally invasive care. We believe in periodic examinations and professional cleanings. By methodical evaluations, treatment can be minimized and the lifetime of your teeth extended.
Elective Aesthetic Treatment
In addition to restoring teeth, we can enhance the appearance of your smile. Elective procedures can dramatically improve your smile. Careful evaluation can determine the best results. Improved appearance should be weighed against the possible risks of treatment and the most conservative, long-lasting techniques employed.
Informed consent is important for the patient to make good decisions. Often there are several viable options for treatment. We believe that the patient should be involved in determining their own care. No treatment should be considered "permanent" so the lifetime and consequences of different choices should be fully understood prior to commencing treatment.
Mutual respect is important for successful treatment. We will make every effort to remain on time and ask that you do the same. If you are not satisfied with our treatment you certainly should seek care where you feel the most comfortable. Likewise on rare occasions we may feel that non-compliance with our recommendations may preclude our ability to effectively treat you. Communication is the key to a long and satisfying relationship.
Proven technologies designed to benefit the patient are employed by our office. If a procedure can be more effectively performed resulting in a longer lifetime, without promoting over-treatment and at a reasonable cost, it should be used. Evidence-based treatment is the standard of care in our office.
Locating a dentist who emphasizes cosmetic treatment
Local, state, and national licensing authorities do not recognize a specialty in aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry. Dentists are restricted from claiming expertise or superiority in this mode of treatment. However a number of academies and societies have developed programs to ascertain the ability of dentists to perform a prescribed set of skills and Dr. Ward is a fellow in several such organizations. The ability of a dentist to satisfactorily demonstrate their expertise before their peers may be a useful tool for the consumer.
In this era of cost containment it is understandable that employers are looking for ways to control expenses. Insurance companies are looking for dentists who are willing to discount their usual, customary, and reasonable fees for groups of patients in exchange for the hopeful reward of an increased number of new patients. It is important to understand that the term "preferred" is purely an economic preference and does not relate to the skill or expertise of the dentist.
In today's specialized world it is difficult for one dentist to provide optimal treatment in all phases of dentistry. We may refer you to specialists who have additional training in their area of expertise. The primary benefit is predictable thorough treatment with fewer post-operative problems. Once the specialist is finished you will return to our office for the completion of treatment.