In the past, it’s a common practice that patients visit dentists when they are experiencing pain or they have noticed a hole in their teeth. To me, this behaviour doesn’t make sense. If all patients turn up only when they have pain, then every dental visits will always be painful and unpleasant. But no one wants an unpleasant dental experience. What a catch-22…
I believe this behaviour sprung from the misunderstanding that teeth only need fixing when they are sore. The truth is that the problem began long before the tooth becomes painful and if they are fixed earlier, unpleasant dental experience can be minimized too.
Holes in teeth often exist without patient knowing. The photos below are the same teeth before and after a dentist has cleaned out the decay. What seemed like a perfectly fine tooth to the patient hid a sizable hole inside it.
What’s visible from outside
A large hole hidden inside the same tooth
Even if patients noticed a hole in their teeth, it’s never an accurate representation of the problem. Take the photos below as an example. The left one is the hole patient feel and see. The other is the true size of the problem.
A hole patient noticed
The actual size of the hole once cleaned out
What I haven’t told you yet was that both patients above reported no pain associated with those teeth. Imagine if they were…these holes would have been even bigger and more complicated to fix. Luckily they were detected earlier during dental examination and screening X-ray films.
The current trend in dentistry is slowly moving away from removing teeth, or even filling teeth. Prevention is the new norm where we see kids growing up with no holes or fillings in their teeth. It’s possible with active screening and maintenance. The X-ray has been around for decades so the technology isn’t new.
It’s the behaviour that’s changing.
To your healthy smile.
Supa Dental, Melton.