September 2015 - Prosthodontist in Johannesburg
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September 2015

Here is something about having a regular dental check up to chew on …

Whether you have had extensive dental treatment and spent lots of money on your teeth, or whether you enjoy an apparently sound healthy dentition  (or something in between), all teeth have one thing in common. They are constantly bathed by saliva in  a warm wet environment and  they are constantly subjected to exposure to the normal bacteria in  the mouth.

Without effective home care of regular tooth brushing and flossing,  sticky plaque  accumulates on the teeth. This plaque  is the cause of both tooth decay and gum inflammation. It only takes 24 hours for plaque  accumulate. Hence thorough brushing twice a day is essential after breakfast and before going to sleep. That’s personal responsibility that is not negotiable .

Restored teeth are more vulnerable to recurrent decay and long-term breakdown. How many times do you want the same tooth to be worked on in the course of a lifetime? Teeth are important to you.

In spite of the best efforts in home care plaque  continues to accumulate and calcify silently and painlessly. Regular professional care  which may be indicated 3 monthly; 6 monthly; or if you are lucky 12 monthly will  eliminate the calcified  plaque (calculus) and  will encourage you in ensuring effective toothbrushing. It’s how long you spend and how you hold the brush that requires regular reinforcing. That’s why you  need to see a dentist or hygienist  for a regular dental check up. It is for your benefit.

So knowing all this, why continue to spend the time and money on a recall/maintenance visit? Is there a benefit?  Dental treatment is costly and perhaps you have invested a great deal of time and money. Like all investments it  needs looking after.

It bears constant repetition… Teeth are designed to last a lifetime but teeth that have been filled have a shortened life expectancy. Potential problems can be detected early on and treated accordingly. No man-made material is a substitute for the  natural tooth. Prevention is better than cure.

How long will a restored tooth last? Well that depends on many factors:

  •  Regular professional review of the status of your teeth
  •  Excellence in home care
  •  Clinical excellence in the placing of the appropriate restoration.

Is a regular dental check up cost effective? It certainly is. Work out your annual expenditure for a six monthly recall visit and divide by 12. Is R8.00 /day excessive to set aside for your teeth? You probably spend more than that each day on cappuccino or chewing gum.

That is certainly something to chew on and smile about. Your teeth are important to you. Please  don’t neglect them.

If you think about it, the comment, “ I will wait until it breaks”, is completely illogical. It

doesn’t make any sense.

See, not long ago I noticed low tire pressure in one of my tires, so I prayed all the way

to the tyre fitment  centre, hoping to arrive without incident. I made it!

After evaluating the pressure issue, the technician walked from the garage over to where

I was expectingly waiting. I thought to myself , “Oh boy- here  we go!”

He reported that I had a nail in my tyre, and that they would repair it at no charge. He

also told me that for safety reasons, my car would benefit from new tyres in the near

future. If I were like a dental patient I might have said, “I think I’ll just wait for a

blowout” . See what I mean?. It just doesn’t make sense. I didn’t plan on buying four

new tyres that day but I did and I didn’t hold it against the technician either.


So let’s get real…

You the patient and not the prosthodontist  has ownership of the problem. Why do  you not

take time out of your day to visit our practice? Why let your medical aid dictate appropriate

treatment?  They are your teeth, not theirs ! How would you like your teeth to be in 5,  10,

15 years down the line – surely sound and healthy as they could be now.


What if we as prosthodontists see something that isn’t necessarily symptomatic at the

present time , but could potentially pose a problem in the forseable future – how soon

would you want to do something about it? If we were able to help you ward off any

emergency or pain or inconvenience  timeously while saving you some money, would that

not  be helpful?


You are welcome to give us a call to prevent the blowout.