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Ethical Scenario 28
A patient attends demanding filing down of all their teeth especially their canines to make them more shaped. On examination, you note there is no clinical indication for this and the patient has no prior symptoms. How would you manage this case?
Excellent Candidate response
- Firstly, explain to the patient that cosmetic treatment isn't generally carried out under the NHS. Rather, it is to ensure the patient is pain-free and has full functional ability.
- Explain the pros and cons as well as risks and benefits of their proposed treatment.
- Explain how filing down teeth may cause long term sensitivity and increase the risk of nerve exposure in some cases or fracture.
- Always offer the option of seeking a second opinion if the patient wishes or seeking out a cosmetic dentist that offers these types of treatment.
- Ensure the patient is fully informed of all options.
- If the treatment does not fall under the NHS and the patient is not in pain, an NHS dentist is not bound to complete it.