General Dentistry
Treatment Planning

How to talk about a treatment plan

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Doc, do I really need that? – Phasing Treatment

Visiting the dentist for a checkup can be intimidating, especially if you have not been for a while. All too familiar are stories of a loved one, friend or colleague being presented with an extensive list of dental issues; many of which they had never heard of before. While undoubtedly well intentioned, our team at Pacific Spirit Dental Centre understands how overwhelming this can be.

We feel that prioritizing helps us and our patients navigate their dental needs. In our opinion, dental issues come in three levels of urgency:

1. Treat immediately

Emergencies. These are not as common as you would believe.

Examples include:

  • Throbbing tooth aches
  • Large infections with swelling
  • Loss of front teeth

2. Treat sooner rather than later

“Soon” generally means within a few months. We consider this as general maintenance and prevention of larger problems developing. In most cases, timely treatment when the problem is small avoids complicated, costly, and lengthy treatment in the future. So long as we can prevent an emergency, you will always be “in the driver’s seat” and be able to make the soundest decisions regarding your oral health.


  • Most cavities
  • Chipped teeth not causing pain
  • Crowns to reinforce teeth
  • Gum surgery

3. Treat later

These treatments are for improving an already relatively healthy and stable mouth.


  • Dental implant treatment for missing teeth
  • Veneers and cosmetic procedures
  • Replacing several missing teeth

It’s by no accident that most of our prosthodontic specialty treatments fall under the “Treat Later” category. Afterall, these treatments are done to improve on, reconstruct, and mimic the best of what mother nature can achieve. The gravity of this task is exactly what Prosthodontists are trained for.

Our promise to our patients is to make clear where each procedure falls in the urgency hierarchy. Our skills as Prosthodontists allow us to engineer solutions to make even the most complex of treatments practical and achievable. Whether you wish to treat everything all at once or to spread treatment out over several years, we are confident that we can propose a solution tailored to your unique circumstances.

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We’re located in the heart of the University of British Columbia campus and along the Arbutus corridor. We are modern, professional, and specialists in your smile.

Where to Find Us