Team Specialist Approach
At Prosper Family Dentistry we know that a single general dental practice alone cannot always solve some of the more complex oral, cranial, and facial problems from which patients suffer. This is when the dentist will traditionally refer his or her patient to a specialist in order to seek additional expertise. In a particularly complex case, there may be several referrals to several different specialists over the course of a patient’s treatment. We understand that this type multidisciplinary approach to treatment can not only be very effective, but is absolutely necessary as one specialist cannot deal with all aspects of particularly complicated problems.
A Team Specialist Approach can bring in the missing collaborative elements and allows all specialists involved to conduct a dialogue concerning patient care. This type of dentistry focuses on interaction, not only between the primary dentist and the specialists, but also between the interdisciplinary team and the patient. The patient will always be included in the process as a member of the team and will be updated regularly on incoming information and decisions.
At Prosper Family Dentistry we have worked hard to build an interdisciplinary team of specialists and network of shared skills and expertise, open communication, and trust. The ultimate goal is to create and perpetuate an ideal treatment environment in which the patient feels comfortable and doctors can work effectively.
How Does the Team Specialist Approach Work?
Dentists wear many hats within his or her practice: business owner, boss, clinician, customer service provider, manager, and leader. With these responsibilities already in place, it is easy to view interdisciplinary dentistry as extra work that could be handled just as well with simple referrals. Even though establishing the interdisciplinary team may require an extra time investment up front, once the team is in place it provides a much more effective framework for treatment. It also opens the lines of communication, reducing stress and confusion for all members of the team, including the patient. Clear expectations of the intended treatment outcome are built into the interdisciplinary team’s framework. As a result, and by its very nature, the team approach allows for more efficiency and a better treatment outcome.
Team members meet at the beginning of a treatment process to discuss the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan together. By combining the individual skills and expertise of all the specialists, a comprehensive treatment plan can be developed.
The team should discuss every aspect of the treatment plan in detail and ensure that the plan is customized to the patient’s needs. Then, at every step of the process, all members of the team will follow the treatment plan, and the patient is an essential part of the team and will be included in the development and execution of the treatment plan.
The beauty of collaborative teamwork between specialists is that everyone can give each other advice and build on each other’s ideas. Rather than passing down orders, team members can ask for input and suggestions including direct input from the patient.