Imposing Aesthetic Preferences
While it is their proper role to advise and guide a patient toward a treatment plan, aesthetics clinicians should not impose their own preferences rather than comply with the patient’s wishes.
Referring to the individual patient’s facial structure as well as complexion, among other factors, the clinician should advise as to what would produce the most satisfactory outcome.
Ultimately, of course, to ensure patient satisfaction the clinician must acknowledge the patient’s desires regardless whether it is consistent with their own aesthetic ideal.
Given that the clinician may not feel that they can, or are ethically able to, do what the patient is asking, the question then becomes how to proceed.
It forces dentists to ask a very difficult question: Can, or should, a patient be able to force a dentist to do something contrary to the dental professional’s advice?
There should be no argument that it is the professional’s responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the patient, both physically and emotionally. Just because what the patient wants can be done does not mean that it should be done.
As importantly, it must be borne in mind that a patient cannot legally agree to accept malpractice of dentistry.
Dentists are therefore obligated to do what is in the best interest of the patient. They must tread the fine line between patient demands, patient satisfaction, and what they know to be ethically and aesthetically sound as a professional.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be publishing more blogs and articles expanding on this subject.
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