What Motivates You?

I have found over the years in practice that there are basically two motivational directions that cause patients to seek help at our office. On the surface, they may seem the same but are really very different. For some it is moving away from disease, for others it is moving toward health. There is no right or wrong answer here. I happily see both in our practice. It is helpful for me to understand the patient’s perspective so that I can best present the treatment that is most in touch with the wants and desires that the patient has.

The patient oriented toward movement away from disease tends to be more reactive. “Oh, I have a cavity? Let’s fix it” or “I don’t like that my gums bleed,” “I cracked my tooth and now it hurts.” It is the knowledge that something is wrong and they want that issue addressed is the prime motivation. Once the fire is out this patient is content with where he or she is. This tends to be a more reactive, single tooth or episodic care treatment approach.

The patient that is motivated toward health looks at the bigger picture. “What can I do to ensure that my mouth will be comfortable, with minimal risk of future breakdown.” “Is there something I can do now so my teeth don’t become worn, gums stay healthy and will need minimal to less dentistry as I age?” This orientation requires a broader view of the teeth, gums, joints (TMJ) and muscles that control the joints and interaction of the teeth when chewing. My knowing that a patient’s orientation is toward wellness and creating helps to create treatment options that are congruent with their beliefs.

So, if you hear me ask you questions about your motivational direction, there is a reason for it. The better I can understand my patient, the better my office can serve you. I will always give you options for addressing your concern. In the end, it is about finding the right solution for you. One size doesn’t fit all

With wishes for good health,

Dr. Hasken