When is a consultation a waste of time?

As a teenager or an adult you have usually had all your permanent teeth come through and in most cases they are misaligned or sometimes spaced.
As we are not related to sharks that have numerous sets of teeth, then we must look after our 1 set.
Be it by watching our sugar intake or brushing the teeth regularly we can make an attempt at looking after our teeth.
But when something goes wrong then we have to employ the services of a dentist.
We are at the mercy of the dentist, his skills at examination, assessment, explanation and execution.
So when a patient enquires at what can be done with their crooked teeth, then there are 3 types of patient consult:

1 The patient has no idea of what options there are and wants the advice of the dentist
2 The patient has some idea of the options from having visited other dentists and wants a 3rd or 4th opinion
3 The patient knows exactly what they want from meticulous research/consultation and tells the dentist what they want

Now as a seasoned dentist with 22 years of experience I am rarely told what to do. I have a wealth of experience, opinion, tried and tested methods etc.
So the patient would benefit from my consult.
The problem is the last patient consult type. They know what they want but they want to mine information from me and then find the cheapest dentist around.
Cheaper does not mean better. The product may be the same, but it is how the product is used that make the difference.
So back to my no obligation consult. Having assessed the patient, taken photos, shown said photos, shown similar finished cases, I have proved that I can do the job.
The patient is enlightened, in fact in awe of my skills.
I do not ask for a decision there and then as the patient needs to reflect on their decision ( it’s not like you are buying a TV! ).
Now when I do Invisalign I do the whole mouth treatment and not just the front 6 teeth.
My philosophy is that the anterior crowding has happened because of back of the mouth crowding/collapse. So to ignore it is very short sighted.
My fees reflect the long term, no quibble commitment.
But there are many dentists offering Invisalign but only the anterior version.
So how do they make space?
By filing inbetween the front teeth. The front teeth, especially the lowers are
narrow and overlapped. To file between crooked teeth means losing lots of enamel.
SO I create space at the back to alleviate anterior crowding.
This is FULL INVISALIGN which is longer in terms of treatment and number of aligners.
So I am bemused when patients think they are getting the same treatment as mine for a 50% reduction.
Invisalign like many dental treatments is a complex, fully committed method of straightening teeth, so why belittle it?
It is not like you are buying a sofa set or a 3D television that has a short life expectancy.
Your teeth are for life, so treat them with respect.
Private orthodontics involves
full planning
about 12months of treatment
no quibble guarantee treatment
refinement at the end
full set of retainers
and costs about £3-4000
When patients run off to a Groupon campaign they really are letting themselves down.
Do the research, read the reviews and expect to pay above £3000.
Below is an example of a case finished within 6 months leaving the teeth with uneven stripped edges.

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