Why would anyone want “slower dentistry”? How can that be a good thing? Most people don’t enjoy being worked on, me least of all, and like most people can’t wait to get out of the chair. But I, like most of my patients, would prefer the dentist take the time he/she needs to get the job done right, to get a high quality result that will last as long as possible. That is the essence of “slower dentistry”. Due to a lot factors – lower reimbursement from dental insurances, short comings of dental coding, increased efficiency & profitability, and a perception that all patients value cost and speed over comfort, quality, and durability.
Slow Dentistry involves using proper isolation, high quality materials, advanced techniques, high powered magnification, and treating each clinical situation as unique and customizing the time and approach based on what the situation needs; not making everything fit into pre-determined time slots.
If we assume delivery drivers have the same car that goes the same speed we would be right to expect them to travel 20 miles in the same amount of time. The more profitable business would be efficient in maximizing the amount of deliveries and timing the drivers. However, all roads and all trips aren’t the same. That 20 miles can be a lot different depending on where it is taking place and what the weather is like. Is it fair to expect a driver to make the same time traveling 20 miles down a windy mountain back road in the snow vs a driver on a flat highway in sunny weather? If we demand the driver on on the windy snowy make the same time as the highway driver wouldn’t we be putting that driver in a lot more danger?
This is the essence of slower dentistry. One of the shortcomings of dental coding is to treat all cavities the same: same fee & same amount of time required even though two different “occlusal surface” cavities can be very different situations much like the different 20 mile trip. In order for many offices to stay profitable and efficient they must either treat all these cavities the same with the same minimum amount of time OR switch to more invasive options to allow more time and reimbursement. At SofTouch, we prefer to treat each cavity as unique and keep minimally invasive options on the table. This is also one of the main reasons we choose to be out of network providers with insurance, to give us the flexibility to treat each cavity as unique even if it is “coded” the same.
SofTouch Dental is part of the SLOW Dentistry movement. To learn more about the Slow Dentistry movement: https://slowdentistry.com/
SLOW Dentistry ®
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