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Issues & People

Value-Based Dentistry

Dr. Sree Koka, Prosthodontist in San Diego California, comes back to speak with Dr. John O’Keefe about his recently published article about value-based dentistry.

Read the article here: Value-based dentistry: Putting the patient first


When treating patients, it is advantageous to understand the concept of value-based dentistry. Practitioners should know what their patients perceive as value (preferences, beliefs, what they are looking for) as well as their perceptions about the cost of treatment which is not just financial, but biological, time and inconvenience costs. Value-based dentistry helps dentists to deliver individualized treatment options to patients that align with their values and desires.

Evidence-based dentistry, while useful, at times, often supersedes how we treat patients. It may be more beneficial to design treatment plan options on what patients desire and aspire to. Then, evidence-based information can help clinicians guide patients to the best option for their situation.





  1. Susan Sutherland July 28, 2016

    This reminds me of the debate about patient-centered versus person-centered care. While words can be important, this hair splitting over extremely vital concepts seems irrelevant to me. It is the mindsets of our students, their teachers and practicing clinicians that needs to change, not the semantics.

  2. JCDA Oasis August 9, 2016

    On behalf of Dr. Paul Belzycki:

    Value-Based Dentistry….Hummm……may need to stand in line behind all the other newly minted “categories” of Dentistry. LVI…Laser…Holistic…Family…Cosmetic…Spa…3D…Digital….to name but a few I see on the signs of Dental Offices or hear being promoted by misleading dentists.

    I graduated in 1979, before blatantly spurious forms of misinformation and advertisement were in vogue. At least here in Toronto. Yes, before Internet too. Back then, there were only two types of dentistry…Good or Bad. Before the term “Cosmetic” Dentistry became entrenched, Good Dentistry demanded that we did our best to fabricate durable crowns in the anterior that blended with adjacent teeth and were harmonious with the patient’s physiological, psychological and fiscal demands. Bad Dentistry was the inability to do so.

    We did not stand back and claim we were somehow different or superior to the next dentist, then go out and start an Association to hand out self-aggrandizing plagues and citations.
    At least the ethical and honest ones didn’t.

    Great…now someone has come along and created a “New and Improved” type of Dentistry…”Value-Based”. What? Do we need to now codify and teach Common Sense? The answer I fear is YES.

    I see it in the “New Generation” of folks raised on the Internet and Social Media. The Google patient that walks in with info from Dr Google on how to be treated. They confuse Information Retrieval with Knowing. By Knowing, I mean understanding a topic thoroughly. You can not Know anything by spending 10 or 20 minutes, or even hours on the Internet. There is too much misinformation by unscrupulous practitioners of any field trying to lure uncritical seekers to their office.

    Good Dentistry demands that we honestly and compassionately help a patient navigate the turbulent ocean of Misinformation that is the Net. “Teeth In A Day”…..give me a break!

    So, yes, perhaps we need to have discussions on “Value-Based” Dentistry, because calling it “Common Sense” Dentistry ain’t as catchy a label and “Good Dentistry” just don’t got that zing.

    Hope you are now all sufficiently “Empowered”.
    Go Forth and Associate!


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