The Changing Landscape of Dentistry

Changing Patient Population 

My current job is as clinical faculty at a dental school – I oversee mostly third and fourth year dental students as they learn to diagnose, treatment plan, and practice a variety of procedures on adult patients. The kinds of patients that these students see are quite complex with regards to medical history, oral health needs, and limited finances. Though we always teach to create an ideal treatment plan, patients often are unable to afford even the decreased fees. A lot of patients admit to neglecting their teeth due to kids, work, family issues, lack of time, lack of finances, lack of dental knowledge, or they only utilize emergency care by choice on an as needed basis. The preventive aspect of dental and oral health is something that is often neglected, ignored, or is not that important within the scope of peoples’ lives and they often end up at an institution like ours as a result. (more…)