I was recently visiting with a friend of my dad’s and the subject of teeth came up.
Fortunately, I enjoy talking teeth and always try to learn from the patient points of view that are related in social situations. It’s most fun when the people I’m visiting with don’t know that I’m a dentist. This time, that was not the case.
To make a long story short, my dad’s buddy had recently had quite a bit of dental work done. He related to me how much better he now felt with healthy teeth and a healthy mouth. He also related that he’d wished he’d had it all done years before. He was so happy with his mouth that his wife was currently getting all of her own teeth in shape.
Teeth tend to make us all the happiest when they are working in the background, like a secret agent… doing their jobs well, blending in, and mostly remaining unnoticed.
Then life happens and teeth start to get cracks, old silver mercury fillings, cavities, gum disease, receding gums around old crowns, unsightly stains, and so on and so forth. Somewhere along the way, most of us lose a tooth here or there due to trauma, gum disease, decay, or some other event. Next thing we know, we wake up look in the mirror, smile, and don’t recognize our own teeth.
Such is the circle of life. We age and things start to wear down. Sometimes they sag. It certainly beats the alternative, though.
Every patient has their own personal tipping point or level of tolerance with how their teeth look and function. Most every day, we have someone walk in and tell us, “Okay, doc, let’s look everything over and get it all done.”
Now is the time for a lifetime plan.
A lifetime plan for healthy teeth involves a simple, honest conversation with your dentist about the shape your teeth are in and where you want them to be for the rest of your life. After extensive diagnostic records (usually x-rays, gum measurements, pictures, and models of your bite), your dentist can visit with you and go over the many pathways to get from here to there.
The goal is to find the right time to fit the plan into your life so that you can have a beautiful, healthy mouth for the rest of your life. Until next week, keep smiling.
– Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.