Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another Dental Rant!

I'd also like to address another rant I found linked to this one: Why I Hate the Dentist.

They address the fact that there are always new hygenists when they go in. Unfortunately this isn't neccessarily the hygenists' fault. It's a bad market for us right now, and it's hard to find a full-time job. Most hygenists I know would like to find an office that treats them well and gives them full time. If they found this they'd have no problem working and seeing the same patients all the time. We prefer to get to know patients so we can really work with you to get your teeth and gums into the best shape possible.

This person basically knows what they're talking about when it comes to brushing: "Here is the thing - you have to properly brush at your gum line to get rid of dental plaque, but if you brush too hard, and for too long, your gums may recede. If you don't brush enough, plaque will build up, and cause your gums to recede. It is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't things."

I tell my clients all the time that it's a Catch-22; You need to brush the gumlines, but not too hard. Brushing too hard does cause recession which can increase tooth sensitivity. Not brushing enough or missing the gumlines won't cause recession, but gum disease, which causes gum sensitivity. It does take practice.

Here is a basic idea: brushing should take about 2 minutes. To avoid brushing too hard try holding the toothbrush between your thumb and 2 fingers only. Place the toothbrush right along the gumline at a 45 degree angle into the gums. For about 10 seconds do small, light circles along the gums, and then sweep the plaque away. If you are using an electric toothbrush all you need to do is place the brush head on your tooth surface along the gums, and then angle in/out of the "cracks" between teeth. You only need a light touch, as the toothbrush does the work for you.

And as for the fact that their dentist may have done a root canal to address a sensitivity issue... Most dentists will recommend some sort of sensitivity toothpaste first, and only do root canals in cases where decay is very deep to the nerve, there is severe pain, or an abcess/pus present visually in the mouth or on an x-ray. As for the filling/crown issue it's a problem of how much tooth structure is left in the tooth. If there is a very large filling in the tooth (more filling than actual tooth structure left) a crown will be suggested because at one point this tooth WILL crack. Yes, we do like to preserve as much tooth structure as possible, but a too-large filling isn't recommended. However, your dentist should work with you to address any money concerns (eg, can only afford a filling not a crown) and prioritize what needs to be done first. If you feel that your dentist is over-prescribing then get a new dentist, one that comes recommended by others.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly... say something. Hopefully your dentist/hygenist care enough to address your needs. If not, find some that do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now there is some passion for ones job.