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Dr. Jean Paul Demajo discusses some of the aspects of the relationship between dentist and patient

Demajo Dental - Smile

Treating patients is a professional affair, but there is still a very big personal touch, which is not taught in textbooks. When patients are about to embark on a big dental job, they tend to go down one of two roads.

One road may lead the patient to the internet, forcing them to go on some Google marathon searching every detail available to help them make up their mind on how they would like their teeth to be fixed. Then, while comparing photos and quoting big treatment plans, they agree with the dentist on the plan. This is not the ideal way of doing things, but at times things still end up this way.

The second road is all about leaving it entirely in the hands of the professional. In this scenario the patient tells the practitioner what they have in mind and then, after having received the best treatment options from the dentist, they confirm which plan they wish to take on.

Demajo - Dentist

Either road leaves the patient determined, excited, worried, anxious and full of expectations. More often than not, the desire to correct one’s teeth is associated with a milestone such as their children’s wedding, their anniversary or retirement, and may often be attached to a financial commitment with the bank. This places the dentist in the position of having to tick all the boxes on the patient’s list, delivering them on time and to the patient’s liking – or sometimes, more importantly, the liking of their better half!

It is not easy to please all your clients. There is always someone who isn’t happy with the end result and the only saving grace is to redo the teeth until the patient is happy – a costly affair! Certain programs, however, help in visualizing the final result. For example, using certain smile design software, a close-up photo of the old teeth is taken, and by modifying the colour, shape and character of the teeth, the patient is able to visualize the final result. This image may then be translated into a model, producing a temporary plastic mock-up to be fit onto the teeth for a few hours, allowing the patients to see the new teeth in situ.

Once the treatment commences, all those emotions are left in the hands of the dentist to address and deal with, while the patient is in their dental chair. Communication and trust between the dentist and the patient build up and a friendship is established. The relationship doesn’t only remain  professional, but also very personal, as the dentist would not want to displease or disappoint their patient. Plus, word of mouth is also the best form of advertising. Ask your dentist.

Dr Jean Paul Demajo

Dental and Implant Surgeon
Trained in London working in private practice in Malta


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