New Module

Spear Resident Faculty member Dr. Bob Winter tackles a common challenge for so many in the dental community in his latest Study Club module, which gives you a glimpse into his own decision-making framework for a patient with complex needs.

In a new Study Club module, “Comprehensive Treatment Planning for a Patient with Complex Needs,” Dr. Winter outlines his systematic approach to assist clinicians in establishing a framework for the decision-making process of a real-life complex case.

“We are really fortunate when we have patients come into our practices desiring to improve their overall health and address their dental needs, but it's easy to get tunnel vision and focus on a tooth or a gummy smile,” Dr. Winter said. “We have to look at things comprehensively.”

If treatment involves several disciplines – endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, surgical implant, and restorative – decisions must be made on the phasing and sequencing of treatment. Dr. Winter discusses the when, why, and who in this process depends on how each patient presents and the preferences of the team members for each specific case.

The module explains all the steps involved in both the treatment planning and the treatment process. In addition, Dr. Winter underscores modifications to the treatment plan based on what may be discovered in the patient. Many problems encountered during complex treatment are directly traceable to factors overlooked during the initial examination and data collection.

“Sometimes the discovery phase of treatment may be the most important phase in treating patients with complex problems because there is a lot we can learn – what teeth can be saved, what further treatment is necessary – so going through discovery allows us to finalize the treatment,” Dr. Winter said.

This module demonstrates how restorative dentists can advance their clinical skills and grow their practice by taking on more complex cases that involve an interdisciplinary approach to comprehensive treatment.

Establishing a framework for a decision-making process takes a little bit of art and science but it makes treating a complex case more manageable for all the clinicians involved in care.

Module learning objectives are:

  • Relate the sequence of steps used in the treatment planning process.
  • Identify potential underlying conditions that may influence the development and finalization of the treatment plan.
  • Establish what consultations are required with the various disciplines and how they should be sequenced.
  • Determine how to optimally phase treatment to successfully complete the case.