Low Risk vs. High-Risk Dentistry

When a non-specialist thinks of dentistry, the consideration of whether it’s high-risk or low-risk never enters their minds. For the non-specialist, from prosthodontists to orthodontists, perform a professional service that clients pay for. Yet the profession has a lot of room for error. Many dentists graduate with a clear view of what makes up dentistry. The problem is that the risk is not one that is associated with any particular professional but lies within the profession itself. In this article, we’ll look at what high-risk and low-risk dentistry entails and the difference between the two of them.

Dentistry Should Be a Specialized Profession

Britannica mentions that there are nine specializations of dentistry within the US that are recognized. The oral cavity contains a myriad of different structures and organs, and with each one of them, something could go wrong. Like the rest of the body, if a part is malfunctioning or under attack, a specialist would take over and try to diagnose and deal with the offending issue. Yet, most people approach the idea of dentistry with the same sort of mindset as they do with general practitioners. A GP can’t solve every problem. Why should an individual expect a dentist to be able to? The issue arises with dental practitioners who have free reign to perform any procedure they want with their patient’s mouths. The concept is insane when you consider how complex the oral cavity is.

Risk and Reward Dynamics

It was noted before that there are several different specialties when it comes to dentistry. Yet dentists only refer patients to specialists if they think that they need someone more skilled in a procedure than they are. The reasoning for this is simply risk and reward. If a dentist is trained to perform a procedure for a client yet inexperienced in doing so, they might think twice about it. However, if they are paid a handsome sum to perform the procedure, the thought process changes. In the past, a dentist couldn’t safely perform high-risk dentistry if they were too inexperienced in a particular specialty and had to refer the patient on. However, today’s dentists have found an ally in technology.

Materials Count As Much as Technique

Most dentists that perform risky procedures have a lot of high-tech equipment to help them ensure their patients’ safety. Dentistry is still a medical field, and poor understanding and application of risk management could end poorly for a dentist. Modern technology has made high-quality materials more affordable, giving dentists the tools they need to perform high-risk dentistry relatively effectively.

As technology continues its march forward, dentists would do well to keep abreast of the latest innovations. Now, with massive leaps in artificial intelligence and automated techniques, low-risk dentistry can almost fall into the realm of automation with a few more iterations. That leaves dentists with the responsibility of the high-risk portion of the field. With the right equipment, even inexperienced dentists may perform high-risk procedures with little danger to their patients.