By: A layman in distress
Several months ago I went to visit the dentist with a severe tooth pain on my rear upper molar tooth and over the course next month had a series of procedures done. I ended up with having root canal therapy followed by a post retained amalgam restoration.
What followed was a sinus infection and bronchitis and the constant awareness of the molar and irritation in the back of my mouth. Going back to the dentist did not provide me with any satisfaction. I still have this persistent problem.
It was at this point that I felt the need to do some research and I turned to the Internet. I wanted to seek somebody who would give me an holistic and comprehensive viewpoint of what was going on in my mouth. Somehow the problem had to be solved. I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t envisage living like this for the rest of my days. I investigated the different options available to me including going back to the original dentist to deal with this problem felt like more good money after of considerable amount of bad money had gone down the drain.
To the layman the choice of any profession is blind. One usually relies on the personal recommendation of another layman who also really doesn’t know. The criteria of choosing a dentist is based on emotional factors like: is he gentle; does he not hurt; does he charge medical aid rates?
One trusts that the dentist one chooses is providing the best treatment. They all come across as being experts in the field .One is aware that there is the need to sometimes be referred to a dental specialists like the orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon.
So many people have had their teeth straightened and so many people have had their wisdom tooth extracted. Specialities of orthodontics and maxillofacial surgery are generally known.
Patients see their regular dentist for treatment thinking that all is well until a problem develops.
My research on the Internet led me to discover that there is a dental speciality called prosthodontics. I was looking for a holistic overview of my mouth and did want not any further work until I was a powered to be the decision maker in that process.
I went to see a prosthodontist and I explained my story to him. I was amazed at his different approach to dealing with my problem. He carefully listened to my dental history and then gathered the clinical information needed to explain to me the way forward. He took the necessary x-rays and did a clinical examination..
The level of wisdom and understanding and experience that a prosthodontist brings to examination was something that I’d never experienced before in all my many years of seeing a dentist. He gave me a comprehensive outline of the situation in my mouth which left me with a gameplan for a complete process into getting my dental health up to speed to ensure sure that I keep my teeth for good. He focused on my main complaint but it was in the context of an holistic approach to my long-term dental health. He also wondered why the tooth had that had initially brought me in was not attended to as part of a comprehensive assessment . The treatment done was totally unnecessary and the tooth now had to be extracted.
Also , I wondered why orthodontics had not been suggested in the past. He explained why my present dental problem had developed and I was aghast at why I’d never been told about this potential problem many years sooner.
This visit to the prosthodontist has empowered me to understand my mouth and teeth in a complete way and see my way forward in achieving dental harmony. It leaves me with the question of why my dentist never referred me to a prosthodontist in the first place. Why did he think that he could handle everything himself. Did he not know his limitations?
I find it hard to comprehend as I approach a half century in age that no one ever told me that my jaw was mal aligned and orthodontics would be needed which could have alleviated this current problem. I have seen several dentists in the past and no one ever said anything about my malocclusion and how or why it should be treated.
Dental work can be costly in visiting a prosthodontist but I now realise what long-term value there is in the initial expense. Being empowered to fully understand what is going on in my mouth is a new experience.
Why should finding out about a prosthodontist come through my research on the Internet. Should my dentist not have made a recommendation timeously?
I wish I had seen a prosthodontist sooner. Cheap is expensive but it is never too late!