What thoughts does that word conjure up in your mind?
The truth is that dentistry today has changed tremendously over the years, for the better!!! The problem is that many dental health care providers have not changed with the times, thus failing to offer their patients these new and innovative concepts available to them and to the patient’s benefit. For years, and unfortunately still today, dental offices hide behind Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) to ease the patients suffering and yet Nitrous Oxide isn’t even needed in this day and age with contemporary dental techniques to eliminate patient anxiety and typical dental discomfort. The key is to ask your dental professional if they are practicing the most contemporary techniques and if not, consider seeking out those dentists that can provide this service to you and your family.
Here are the Truths and Myths.
“If I get veneers or crowns my teeth will be cut down to nubs”. . . . Myth. This no longer has to be the case, conservative, NON-aggressive dentistry is here if you find those doctors practicing that type of dentistry. With every day dentistry, over 80% of the tooth is removed whereas dentists practicing conservative techniques will often yield less than a 15% removal of good and healthy tooth structure.
“Dentistry is painful”. . . . Myth. Not anymore. This is such a misconception these days as conservative, efficient dentistry has very little discomfort and can often be completed 4X faster than traditional dentistry. For example: a crown (a restoration that covers the whole tooth) normally takes 1.5-2.0 hours can take as little as 30 minutes for a restoration, and much more conservative. Sleep dentistry for those that are very anxious is another method to relax patients. Simply take a pill, sleep for a few hours while the dentistry is being completed and then wake up in the privacy of your own home, usually remembering little about the appointment.
“Some teeth can look so fake”. . . . True. Your Smile is often what makes your first impression on people you meet. Dentistry today doesn’t have to look fake or artificial and yet many dentists that perform smile enhancement make the teeth look fake. There are materials available to dentists today that emulate exquisiteness and rival nature on every level. The smiles that can be crafted today look so life-like if made properly and artistically. Remember, just because a dentist calls themselves a ‘cosmetic dentist’ it does mean they are educated in the area of cosmetics.
“Gum disease doesn’t hurt”. . . .True. Unfortunately, gum disease is one of the only diseases that include bleeding gums, receding bone, loose teeth, and bad breath…..and it doesn’t hurt. Periodontal disease has been directly linked to diabetes and heart disease as well often leading to plaques in the heart, which can cause a heart attack. Bacteria in the mouth can lead to other issues throughout the body. Getting teeth cleaned twice per year (4X for some patients) can eliminate the chance of cavities and decrease susceptibility to other diseases.
“Crest Whitening strips and Dental Office Whitening works the same”. . . .False. It’s much like the over-the-counter vs. prescription strength whitening systems. The strips have far less strength and can end up being more expensive in the long run and far less effective. On the contrary, if over-the-counter whitening strips is used to maintain the whiter smile after dental office whitening was completed then often that combination will sustain the whitened smile for months longer.
Dentistry has changed so much over the last 10 years but the brutal truth is that most dentists are still practicing the same ‘old school’ methods practiced for generations. Dentistry can be natural, non-painful, non-invasive and relatively swift in completion compared to days of old.