Prevention takes bite out of the dentist
I know that most people don’t like to visit the doctor. Not only are they afraid of what they might be told but they also know that some pain may be involved, and nobody likes pain. As painful as a visit to the doctor may be, just think how painful it is to visit the dentist.
Now, please understand, I like dentists. Why, some of my best friends are dentists and even several of my relatives are dentists, and my dentist is great. But we have all had the experience of dental visits that left something to be desired. When you are not sure that the toothache is worse than the cure, then you must have had a negative experience in the past.
My dentist tells me that dentists will all soon be out of business anyway, since medication to prevent tooth decay will soon be available. Dentists will become a thing of the past. Such a medication, when and if it does become available, probably will work best if started in childhood and most of the rest of us are already over that hill.
Take heart. All is not lost. I have discovered a way to minimize, if not eliminate, the need for dentists. In truth, I haven’t really discovered anything. The dentists discovered it themselves and really can blame no one but themselves for the end of their profession.
The answer is prophylaxis. That is prevention of dental problems before they occur. This prevention is available in most dental offices today in the form of the dental hygienist. That’s right, dentists have solved their own problem. They have developed a wonderful and reasonably painless answer to dental disease.
Periodic examinations and treatments by your dental hygienist will result in many fewer dental problems. Examinations and treatments, followed by improvement in your daily dental practices will do even more to avoid the dreaded dental visit for treatment of a neglected dental problem.
What should you expect? Expect to see many very sharp and twisted metal instruments that the hygienist uses to poke around and on your teeth looking for the dreaded tarter. That’s the hard material that forms on your teeth near and under your gums because of bacterial action in your mouth.
When the tarter accumulates it can lead to both gum and tooth disease, and the hygienist will want to scrape all that tarter off your teeth. The metal instruments are designed to get into all the narrow and tight places around your teeth to do the scraping. There are also ultrasonic instruments that spray water and remove the tarter using high frequency sound waves to vibrate the tarter loose.
We all form tarter at different rates, but those of us that brush our teeth regularly and floss regularly will form less than those of us who do not. It is important to do this regularly, after every meal if possible.
I realize that what I am suggesting does take some time and some mental discipline. Before my wife has a chance to call me a hypocrite, I do admit that I don’t always do all that I have suggested. But I do visit my dentist regularly and have the hygienist work on my tarter.
Your hygienist will tell you how often you should be checked. It is important to keep your appointments and undergo the periodic evaluations. If we all do it, dentists might start to appear on the list of endangered species.
Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 12:00 am