Creating An Esthetic Case

Developing the Esthetic Treatment Plan: The Esthetic Interview

GOAL: To identify the patient’s reasons for seeking treatment.

KEY questions for the patient:
  1. What is your chief esthetic concern?

  2. Do you have a specific idea of how you would like your teeth to look?

    • The more specific the answer, the more predictable treatment will be.
    • The less specific the answer, the less likelihood the patient will be satisfied.

  3. Do you feel that the change in your smile will help a specific area of your life?

    • Listen for the unrealistic answer, such as: “I’m having difficulties in my marriage and I think if I looked better, my marriage would improve.”
    • The more realistic the expectation, the more predictable treatment outcome will be.
    • The more unrealistic the expectation, the more likely it is that the patient will be dissatisfied.

  4. How white would you like your teeth to be after restoration? (use a shade guide)

    If the patient wants his teeth “as white as possible”, check his color perception.

    a. Using a shade guide, ask the patient to choose the shade he thinks his teeth are now.
    b. Ask which shade the patient would like them to be.
    c. Compare these shades to the patients’ teeth.
    d. The closer the shade chosen is to the current shade, the more predictable treatment will be.
    e. If a large variation exists between the shade chosen and the current shade, discuss color perception with the patient.

  5. Bleaching:

    a. Have you ever bleached your teeth?
    b. Are you considering bleaching your teeth?
    c. Are you opposed to bleaching your teeth?

Treatment KEY: Any bleaching should be completed four weeks before shade selection for all restorative procedures.

  1. What is your chief concern about the appearance of your teeth?
  2. Do you have a specific idea of how you would like your teeth to look?
  3. Do you feel changing your smile would help a particular area of your life?


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3549 Airport Road, Suite 106, Waterford, MI 48329
Phone: (248)623-2600 Fax: (248)623-2602