DENTAL TREATMENT, WHY NOT STOP THE MADNESS?
Most people will admit that going to the dentist isn’t their favorite thing to do. Generally this is due to previous experiences involving fear, the cost of care or the time needed for appointments. Currently there is much discussion about the value of prevention as it is less expensive, doesn’t involve pain and leads to less need for dental treatment. Why is it that so many people pay only lip service to this discussion?
It should be no surprise that dental disease is, for the most part, preventable and yet many people seem to accept the continued need for dental treatment over the course of their lives. It’s a fact that a little disease leads to more disease and with it a constant need for treatment. Why not stop the madness? We all are at risk for decay, gum disease, and the problems associated with a bad bite (broken, worn or loose teeth, jaw joint and muscle problems/headaches). Why not control the risks by addressing the causes rather than constantly fixing problems? This is generally not difficult, doesn’t have to be expensive and offers the benefit of being able to plan how to minimize treatment needs for a lifetime.
Dental disease is a chronic deterioration of our health, often without any signs or symptoms until the breakdown is advanced. We often think we are okay if we don’t have any ‘problems’ and this reactive approach to our health care results in more cost, pain, and less predictable outcomes than a proactive approach.
Decay and periodontal disease are caused by plaque that grows on the teeth. The longer it stays intact and ‘organized’ the more damage it causes. The commitment the patient has to a daily and effective disruption to the plaque represents about 90% of our success in keeping our treatment needs to a minimum. The good news is that this can and should be accomplished with home care alone. It’s really a choice we make, diligent home care or sitting in the dental chair. When presented with big solutions to your problems, ask your dentist about a more preventive approach.