To Consult or Not to Consult?

oral surgeon's chair

We are frequently asked about the need for consults. In order to provide excellent care for your patients, consults are a routine part of our treatment. Exceptions, however, are present:

  • Patients desiring only local anesthesia for treatment will be treated on the initial visit if possible or practical.
  • Significant infection where waiting would not be prudent medically.
  • An extremely long distance to travel for treatment. The procedure and medical status will be evaluated prior to the appointment and we will decide the proper treatment.

According to AAOMS and OMSNIC, the primary insurance carrier for nearly all oral surgeons nationwide, performing consults at a separate appointment from surgical treatment is the standard of care. These standards are present to assure you and your patients that our office is providing treatment with patient safety as a priority.

The consult also allows our office to determine the appropriate anesthesia choice for each patient, properly evaluate and address all medical issues, and communicate with the patient’s physician if necessary.

Many patients are anxious when coming in for oral surgery. The consult allows the patient and parent to raise questions and concerns related to the procedure and also anesthesia. Our entire staff is dedicated to alleviating the fears and apprehensions of both the patient and also the parents.

A routine consult will require a total of 30 minutes. At least 20 minutes of the consult will be direct doctor contact. Your patients deserve to be informed primarily by the doctor, rather than an assistant. We will review the medical history, perform an oral exam, discuss the recommended treatment, discuss anesthesia options, discuss the risks and possible complications, inform the patient of the risks of no treatment, and also discuss post-operative issues. ‘Tour guides’ will be available for the younger patients – this is very effective in reducing fears in a pediatric population.

Finally, the consult process allows for a proper discussion of insurance and helps to greatly minimize the risks of financial surprises related to the treatment plan.

Our first core value is dedication to patient safety – consults are an integral part to assure the best and safest treatment environment for your patients.

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