Correct diagnosis is crucial. The consultation with your dentist may seem a very informal chat, but keep in mind that the dentist is building a picture of your complete situation, habits, nutrition, disposition, oral hygiene, motivation, as well as problems like tooth decay, missing teeth, ill-fitting dentures, the balance of occlusion, suitability for more complex treatments like crowns, bridges, implants, a partial denture, and personal habits like sugar consumption, diet, grinding of teeth, the effect of your profession, the need for orthodontic treatment in children, and your personal priority for dental health and oral hygiene.
To assist this, X-rays may or may not be needed, and we limit radiation to the necessary number of x-rays. To discover all symptoms can be time-consuming, and optimum communication is very important. All information is confidential, and the basis of our approach is respect.
The most important preventative treatment is verbal advice from your dentist on oral hygiene.
If this is followed diligently, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, discomfort, traveling costs, spoiled holidays, fillings, crowns, implants, dentures, extractions, worry, anguish overtreatment, and have a friendly relaxed relationship with the dental team.
To prevent dental disease, it is important to visit on a regular basis, and have simple procedures done like scale and polish with the hygienist, fissure sealants, fillings, and be reminded again of flossing techniques and the importance of a healthy diet.
Prevention also comes in the form of early proper orthodontic treatment, early treatment for tooth decay, or a crown or a bridge or a denture to avoid problems later.
Restoring the mouth is the core activity of the dental team, and treatments will depend on the individual need of every patient. It ranges from:
Root canal treatments
Crowns in porcelain, metal, gold, bonded
Implants from a specialist
Valplast flexible dentures
Maintenance is what happens in the last 10 minutes before bed at night.
Everybody lives longer these days, and it is a pure joy to see my 98-year-old patient that has all her teeth, with a healthy smile and a positive outlook, flossing her teeth before bed at night, because during sleep the plaque in our mouth grows fastest, doubling in volume every 24 hours.
Plaque is what causes gum disease, dental decay, bad breath, secondary decay under fillings and crowns and bridges, and all dental devices.
It is essential to floss at night, brush and rinse with water, and go to bed with a safe clean mouth.
Hygiene visits can be necessary every 3 months, and most patients manage well on 6 monthly hygiene visits.
It is really true that a stitch in time saves 9 because what needs a cheap simple filling now, may need a very expensive implant later if left too long.
There are better things to do than struggle with dental problems.
Do the maintenance.