Integrated treatment planning is complex. The first question is, what does integrated mean? Do we mean integrated to whole body health, integrated across the specialties of dentistry or integrated to a patient’s individual needs? The answer is all of the above. In essence, integrated treatment planning means moving away from single tooth dentistry toward a comprehensive care approach.
Communication skills are required to truly listen to patients and to present their options in language that’s easy to understand. When patients become overwhelmed, it’s difficult for them to make decisions. Many times, smile design and restorative treatment planning have layers of complexity. One treatment plan may require discussion about the aetiology of erosion, a periodontal problem, and a tooth with failing endo, while the patient’s main concern is appearance—which may have nothing to do with the health issues that need addressed.
Ultimately, treatment planning is a series of decisions, and therefore a series of choices.