About Our Distinctive Austin, Texas Practice

The Five Levels of Dental Care

We understand choosing a new dentist and dental health team can be a challenge, leaving you feeling somewhat uncertain. We welcome you and want to share more specifically our beliefs about what we do for people. A few years ago we wrote a philosophy or purpose for our practice. Briefly stated…

“Our purpose is to help people achieve the highest level of well-being personally appropriate for them and in so doing to enhance the quality of their lives and our own.”

In other words, we help you be or become as healthy as you choose to be. This is a major departure from the way we were trained. Instead of telling you how healthy you ought to be, we will try to help you understand your choices about dental health and then let you make a free and informed choice. Your first choice in this regard is how you would like to begin with us. There are five levels on which people may choose to be seen in our practice.

Level 1–Urgent Care: these are people in crisis or with an emergency problem such as pain, swelling, or bleeding who need immediate help. We see urgencies immediately, whenever possible.

Level 2–Remedial Care: People who choose this level of care desire treatment only when something breaks or becomes uncomfortable. They usually want to correct immediate problems with as little effort and cost as possible, even though the treatment may not be a long-term solution. People at this level are not ready for a comprehensive examination and long-term treatment plan. Their motto might be, “Let’s just take care of what is wrong today and not worry about tomorrow.” These people may be counting on fate and luck to see them through, at least for the present time.

Level 3–Self-Care: People choose this level of care if they want to keep their teeth a lifetime in good or excellent comfort, function, and appearance. People at this level choose to have the Comprehensive Examination, fully evaluating their teeth, gums and supporting tissue, as well as evaluating the dynamic relationship of their teeth to their jaw joint. During this examination process we jointly formulate a long-term plan for your preferred dental future. However, due to current life circumstances or beliefs, they will follow a holding plan until they can proceed to a higher level. They are interested in what they can do, personally, to improve their dental health and arrest any active disease processes, but are not ready to commence major treatment. People at this level are monitored through frequent preventive maintenance visits with our hygienists.

Level 4–Complete Dentistry: People at this level are similar to the people described above. They choose to have a comprehensive examination and formulate a long-term treatment plan designed to achieve a dental future of choice, not chance. Unlike the Self-Care person, they are ready to commence treatment. They also want to understand and control the causative agents of dental disease. Again, they interface closely with our preventive and hygiene departments before, during and after treatment.

Level 5–Wellness Resource: People here are in excellent dental health. They want to see the hygienists one to four times per year, with complete monitoring examinations done annually by Dr. Steinberg. These people practice highly effective levels of nutrition with excellent home care and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our intent would be to assist these people in finding others in the community who might help them to attain even higher levels of personal well-being.

We hope these levels make sense to you. It is not uncommon for people to begin at a lower level and progress over time. If we can help in your decision regarding the most comfortable level for you to begin, please discuss this with us.

We thank you for the opportunity to serve your dental wants and needs.

Dr. Matthew Steinberg Waiting Room