25 Mar It is ALL about the Patient
By: Dr Gerald Kaplan
What to do you value most about your teeth?
Do you want them to look good?
Do you want to be able to chew comfortably?
Do you want them to function well?
Looking ahead 5, 10 or15 years down the line what you hope your teeth will look like?
What role does prevention play for you when it comes to your mouth?
The good news is that fine dentistry can offer excellent solutions that will help you accomplish your long-term goals beautifully.
A detailed clinical examination will many times reveal problems which are generally pain-free but yet need to be dealt with to provide long-term dental health
Nobody feels an overhanging margin; a leaking restoration; a failing root canal; a large defective amalgam or composite filling; a root treated tooth, a tooth that has not been crowned; and even quite simply early dental decay!
What are the long-term consequences of unattended pain-free problems?
- An overhanging margin is the precursor of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque. The overhanging margin is a plaque trap and is uncleansable with regular flossing. The long-term consequence is the onset of periodontal disease and bone loss.
- A leaking restoration will lead to the development of dental decay. If detected early, the tooth can be restored with a conservative restoration and not an extensive or expensive alternative.
- A failing root canal is oftentimes and symptomatic but yet can lead to the development of an abscess at any time. Regular x-ray examination oftentimes reveals a host of problems.
- A root treated tooth must be restored with appropriate restoration to protect the underlying tooth material to prevent tooth fracture.
- Dental decay should be detected early on long before the tooth becomes symptomatic. Regular x-ray examination is essential.
The clinical situation that exists in one’s mouth extends from simple to complex. The earlier a patient is taken in hand and treated appropriately, the less likely will serious problems develop.
Many patients wait until the crisis situation before seeking treatment! This crisis is often only one of a host of existing problems that need attention to restore your mouth back to long-term dental health.
Patients look forward to good dentistry from their dentist with the expectation that treatment is providing long-term benefits and eliminating any unforeseen crises. A long-term treatment plan is essential combined with regular visits to the dentist to achieve your goals.
Many complex and advanced dental problems are best handled as a collaborative exercise with the appropriate specialists. These usually include a prosthodontist, periodontist, orthodontist, and oral surgeon. Your dentist should be quite willing to refer you on for even a seemingly simple problem. The prosthodontist should in most cases be the first port of call because it is he that is able to formulate, together with his colleagues, a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.
Be proactive in recognising the pitfalls of inadequate treatment that is often done under pressure of time and compromise.
Teeth are designed to last a lifetime…make sure yours do!!!