If you ignore them, they WILL go away

Breakthrough Clinical's Editorial Director Dr. Stacey Simmons has a plaque in her office that says: “If you ignore them, they will go away.” When patients come in and expect a miracle but have limited finances, dental fears, and other barriers, is there a secret to keeping them on board with proposed dental treatment?

Apr 4th, 2017
Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 04 17apr6bcsimmons Thumb

Dr. Stacey Simmons has a plaque in her office that says: “If you ignore them, they will go away.” When patients come in and expect a miracle but have limited finances, fears, and other barriers, is there a secret to keeping them on board with proposed dental treatment?


This article first appeared in the newsletter, DE's Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS. Subscribe here.

I have this plaque (no pun intended) hanging in my office: “If you ignore them, they will go away.” So, when this 57-year-old woman told me that it had been 40 years since she’d seen a dentist, I absolutely believed her. Her chief complaint: My teeth are moving. She has 70% to 90% generalized bone loss with severe mobility, and she wants a miracle. The catch? Her finances are limited.

This scenario, while extreme, is something that we all encounter daily. I understand that there are reasons why people don’t go to the dentist—they’re scared, it’s expensive, "nothing hurts," etc., but when they come in and expect a miracle from us, a tirade of emotions arises that can either propel their care in the right direction or find them never walking through the door again.

Is there a secret to keeping people in situations like this on board with proposed dental treatment? What do you do? How do you counter those dental fears and other barriers?

This month we will explore the world of opioid abuse and addiction. As prescription drug writers, we are in a unique position to either enable this addiction or be a part of the solution.

Oral cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV): It’s out there and we need to know the 101 on it, from prevention to treatment. Simply by doing our job, we can save a life.

Dr. Kevin Connor has his answer to last month’s pathology case. This is a really fascinating diagnosis and follow-up to his initial presentation. It shows the importance of working together collectively with our colleagues across the entire medical profession.

Happy spring, everyone, and cheers!

Stacey L. Simmons, DDS
Editorial Director, DE’s Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS

This article first appeared in the newsletter, DE's Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS. Subscribe here.

LAST MONTH . . . 'I want to sue you because I neglected my teeth'


For more articles about clinical dentistry, click here.


Stacey L. Simmons, DDS, is in private practice in Hamilton, Montana. She is a graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry. Dr. Simmons is a guest lecturer at the University of Montana in the Anatomy and Physiology Department. She is the editorial director of PennWell’s clinical dental specialties newsletter, DE’s Breakthrough Clinical with Stacey Simmons, DDS, and a contributing author for DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and Dental Economics. Dr. Simmons can be reached at ssimmonsdds@gmail.com.


For the most current dental headlines, click here.


More in Clinical