Patients – roles
Each person may appear at Vinci Clinic for completely different and unique reasons – depending on their age, their experience as our patient, the medical problem that has forced them to seek help or the circumstances under which they come for treatment. To systematize and describe the specifics of the patients who visit us, we have assigned them to several basic categories, described below.
This is undoubtedly the least comfortable role – not only for the patient, but also for the dentist. Unexpected pain that prevents normal functioning or an accident (knocking out or fracturing a tooth) prompts everyone to visit the office urgently. Such a visit is not planned or pre-arranged – so neither the patient nor the doctor is prepared for it. In such a situation, the primary purpose is to provide first aid and pain relief. However, relieving the patient from unpleasant ailments serves only to ‘mask the problem’ and is a prelude to therapy that will eliminate the actual cause of pain. Further visits are usually necessary after the first intervention. An aching patient usually spends up to 30 minutes in the office and is attended by the specialist who has the most time available before the next scheduled appointment. Therefore, admission of a person who is suffering from a lot of pain most often doesn’t change the admission hours of other patients. Occasionally, however, an aching patient may require a longer intervention and thus expose other patients to extended wait times. In such situations, we ask you for empathy and understanding – after all, each of us may one day become an aching patient. Accidents happen to people! From time to time, in an effort to expedite their visit, patients report severe pain even though that’s not actually the case. Therefore, when making an appointment, we strongly urge you not to misuse the term ‘pain’ or ‘ache’.
New patient – first visit
Visiting a new place for the first time, meeting a doctor you don’t know, a new assistant and receptionist, learning about the new space (office location, restrooms, etc.), and even driving to the clinic may cause some discomfort. For this reason, if only possible, please arrive some time in advance for your first appointment at Vinci Clinic. The additional time will allow you to be on time even if there are traffic difficulties; you will even have a chance to drink coffee and get ready for your appointment (brush your teeth). For us, the extra time (at least a quarter of an hour) before the planned appointment is necessary to collect basic information and ask you a series of questions about your condition in a focused and uninhibited manner.
Medical history in the form of a questionnaire
An interview allows us to obtain the necessary information about the patient’s overall health, which affects the diagnosis and possible treatment. The medical history questionnaire is part of the patient’s medical record, and its purpose is to make sure that the patient receives proper medical care. It’s particularly important for those who struggle with other health problems (e.g., cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer).
Clinical examination (physical)
The doctor examines the patient’s entire masticatory organ, which includes the temporomandibular joints, facial area, oral mucosa, tongue, gums and teeth (extraoral and intraoral photographs are also taken during this stage).
An X-ray is necessary for the doctor to thoroughly examine the patient and make a correct diagnosis. During the first visit at Vinci Clinic, the patient needs to undergo a 3D CT scan, which allows a detailed analysis of anatomical structures (maxillary and mandibular bones, teeth, maxillary sinuses, temporomandibular joints) to be performed. Only such an accurate and three-dimensional examination enables an accurate diagnosis to be made and effective treatment to be planned.
Patient who scheduled a visit but hasn’t showed up
Appointments at our clinic are confirmed by reception staff by phone, email or text message – according to your wishes and preferences. With your time in mind, we make sure to schedule appointments as conveniently as possible. While exact timing for many dental procedures is difficult to predict, we make every effort to ensure that there are no delays and appointments begin on time.
We respect your time and expect the same from our patients. Failure to notify us of your absence means not only that your therapy will be postponed but also that we will not accept another person who may require treatment. Since the list of patients with urgent needs is long, information provided one or two days in advance is enough to fill it back up. In addition, failure to show up on the appointed date generates unnecessary costs for the clinic associated with the preparation of the room for the procedure to be carried out (medical staff are ready, equipment and devices have been prepared). A procedure that has not been performed means that our receipts are affected negatively. In order to manage the time of appointments efficiently, we have adopted a rule at Vinci Clinic that in case of two consecutive confirmed appointments, to which the patient does not turn up on time, we will refuse to register this person for the next visit. If the patient wants to be admitted again, a personal conversation with the clinic coordinator is required. Fortunately, such situations occur incidentally in our clinic.
You are able to predict some absences much earlier than a few days before the scheduled date. In case of change of plans, departure or illness, which affect your normal functioning for several days, please inform us as far in advance as possible. This will allow us to modify our patient list and manage our time for the benefit of all patients. The waiting list will not grow longer.
Child at the dental office – adaptation visit
Children are grateful, yet extremely difficult patients because they are usually unaware of the need to cooperate with the doctor and the clinic’s staff. For this reason, their first visit to the clinic should not be associated with any kind of pain or discomfort. We recommend that all of our patients who plan to treat their children or grandchildren at Vinci Clinic make an appointment for an adaptation visit. Such a visit is an opportunity for the child to learn not only about a new and unfamiliar world, but also about the need for treatment that is usually incomprehensible at a young age.
During an adaptation visit, the child gets to know the dentist and the assistant, gets accustomed to the office space, can sit in the dentist’s chair, take the instruments that the dentist uses (except for those that could hurt the child). The dentist uses a teddy bear or a character from a well-known fairy tale to describe to the child how treatment is carried out. When a day comes and an actual intervention by a dentist is necessary, there is a good chance that your child will be more confident and comfortable with visiting the clinic.
Patient – follow-up visits
Follow-up visits allow both the dentist and the patient to verify the latter’s condition after the treatment or at its next stage. Although they are set individually – depending on the therapy the patient undergoes – follow-up visits are usually scheduled after 3, 6 and 12 months of treatment. Unfortunately, some patients, seeing the positive results of the treatment and disregarding the need to verify its process, sometimes neglect the appointments – they do not come to the follow-up visits at all or show up a few weeks late. We therefore urge you to keep your appointments, as they are an integral part of your treatment – this is one of the key determinants of a successful therapy without potential complications. We encourage you to read the “Vinci Clinic Patient Support Policy”.
Patient – comprehensive treatment
The number of complex treatment cases is much higher in specialized clinics as compared to smaller practices. Patients treated at Vinci Clinic often require more complex and often multi-stage therapy aimed at remodeling their masticatory organ. For this reason, the patient’s first visits for comprehensive treatment primarily involve an interview and examination (including radiology), based on which the doctor makes a diagnosis. At a later stage, the doctor develops a treatment plan (or several plans) taking into account the possibilities and limitations both in the patient’s oral cavity and those of a non-medical nature (concerning, among others, the duration of therapy and its costs). At this stage, it’s often necessary to consult other specialists who will take an active part in the treatment (each patient who undergoes complex treatment has their own attending doctor but meets several specialists during the entire diagnostic and treatment process). Whenever possible, the attending doctor provides a visualization of the state of the patient’s masticatory system after completed therapy. The actual therapy can begin only following a detailed discussion of all the pros and cons and the patient’s acceptance of the treatment plan.
Patient – post–operative support
If a surgical procedure or a procedure with a high risk of complications is performed on a day preceding a bank or public holiday, the patient can easily contact the attending or on-call doctor by phone. After a phone consultation, if a medical intervention is needed, the patient will be seen by the doctor that day.