No two dental practices are alike. Each takes on the characteristics of the practitioner who owns it. The personality of the owner is probably the key to how that office "feels" when you walk in the door. Some practices may feel "clinical and efficient", while others feel somewhat more comfortable. The dentist's personality is reflected in his or her treatment preferences as well. The fact that different dentists will suggest different plans to treat your condition does not necessarily mean that one plan is better than another. Most dentists will suggest what they feel to be the very best plan for any given patient. The differences between the treatment suggested by one dentist and that of another reflects that dentist's preferences based on his or her skill level, training, and experience.

It is important to remember that there are numerous ways to treat the same situation, and it is important for the dentist to develop a customized treatment plan for each patient's specific situation, taking into account the severity and presence of disease and the expectations of the patient. A major part of the decision-making process may be financial, but the dentist has an ethical responsibility to present all reasonable treatment options to the patient without pre-judging their ability to pay for treatment. The dentist should provide adequate information to the patient for them to make a decision about his or her own care. It is the patient's responsibility to decide which treatment best suits his or her budget and make an educated decision about the choice selected, understanding the risks and benefits of selecting one treatment over another.

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