I would say that we have a special relationship with all our referrers! The relationship between dentist and referrer is mutually respectful one and very distinctively different from the dentist-patient relationship.
Patients do not always look to assess their dentist’s clinical skills, so their choice of dentist is usually an emotional one and one of trust.
Meanwhile, the dentist usually chooses a specialist for their clinical skills. When patients are referred to a specialist who has been specifically chosen by their dentist, the patient has no prior knowledge or experience, but the trust they have developed with their own dentist is usually transferred to the specialist.
As a referral practice we are aware of this responsibility. Our role is not just to develop our relationship with the patient, but to become an extension of the practice they are used to attending.
The referring dentist can entrust us to ensure we gain the patient's trust right at the start. How do we do this?
We will be in direct communication with you to discuss the case..
The kind of things that come up in our conversation would be the prognosis of the tooth, how best to treat and then how best to restore after the endodontic treatment has been completed. I usually recommend that any posterior tooth which undergoes root canal treatment should have cuspal coverage placed unless both marginal ridges are intact and in good health. Inevitably, if the root treatment fails, it will be the endodontist who is blamed, not the dentist. We rarely turn down a referral – but we would discuss the restorative options with the referring dentist prior to undertaking the treatment.
Specialists and dentists have to work closely together and if the relationship isn’t based on mutual trust and respect, then the patient’s interests are not being served.
Why? It is widely documented that a well-fitted coronal restoration is a major determinant in the outcome of any endodontic procedure. ‘Our position here is that all dentists should be able to carry out all treatments within their ability, but we also respect those colleagues, who believe that complex treatments are best carried out by specialists. ‘Specialists and dentists have to work closely together and if the relationship isn’t based on mutual trust and respect, then the patient’s interests are not being served. Being able to call the patient’s dentist and have a full and frank discussion about the best way to proceed is hugely important.