As with everything in life, there is an art and a science to fixing, maintaining, and replacing teeth. We dentists go to great lengths to stay up on the most current techniques and materials to treat our patients well. We spend a good chunk of our lives traveling to the latest and greatest continuing education classes. All this in search of the perfect way to heal every patient that walks in through our doors.
This is all well and good, but in the real world, the art of patient care almost always trumps what the scientific literature says. In other words, few of us really fit “the book.” That leads to the real question when it comes to your teeth, “What is the right treatment for me?”
First and foremost, dental care has to fit into your life. I recently had a patient who had just been diagnosed with cancer. He looked me straight in the eye and said he’d be back to get his teeth done when he’d beaten the cancer. I love that attitude. He had a positive outlook and an honest answer. Sometimes we dentists can forget that weddings, graduations, sick parents, and other life events come before broken or missing teeth. That is to be expected and we’ll be here when you are ready.
Growing up, I was lucky to have a dentist who was a close family friend. My visits always went well because I expected them to and my dentist was pretty much an uncle to me. Unfortunately, this is not the case for a lot of patients. We see at least two or three people a day who have had horrible past dental experiences. That’s okay. The key is to find a dentist, a team, and an office that helps to alleviate those past experiences. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of us out there to choose from as well as quite a few sedatives help overcome anxiety. The key is to find the right combination for you.
Finally, you have to find the right treatment for you. It has been said that we are in the “Golden Age” of dental care. To me, that means that we dentists can do some truly amazing things as far as replacing lost teeth, managing dental disease, making over smiles, and treating TMD and facial pain. The esthetics of what we do gets better every year. Unfortunately, it seems the insurance coverage seems to get worse. The key is to find the appropriate care that fits into your life. You can always opt for a short term fix and come back when the time is right. We’ll still be there for you.
Until next time, keep smiling.
‐Comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish through their website: www.ParrishDental.com.