Dentists have a unique professional obligations to their patients–to help teach them to NOT need the services dentists can provide (like fillings and crowns). The word doctor is derived from the Latin word “docere” meaning to teach. Dentists, like Dr. Argersinger, and his staff take this seriously and work daily with individual patients to help them:
1) understand the current condition of their plaque levels on their teeth and how they can clean them better at home
2) what (if any) dental treatments may be beneficial to their well-being and oral health.
By educating patients on the importance of brushing, flossing, and “at home care”, dentists are coaching and teaching “prevention-oriented” principles that their patients will benefit from.
So ask yourself…is your dentist “prevention-oriented” enough?
Well, it is a two way street. Most dentists try hard to convey this prevention attitude to patients, but patients also have to participate. Some dentists get tired of coaching patients about prevention because often times their advice is ignored or quickly forgotten. Dental professionals are responsible for helping patients understand their dental conditions, cause/effects relationships, but it is up to the patients to listen and apply the knowledge the other 363 days of the year! (assuming they go to the dentist twice a year)
Patients who don’t take the dentist’s advice seriously, can develop dental issues, some slow developing, some fast. Digital radiographs (aka x-rays) have the ability to identify dental issues before they become bigger ones, and with the help of modern technology, most dental issues are detected before the dentist can even see a cavity in the tooth! These dental issues don’t usually hurt in the early stages, however they still may be worsening. In fact, all known or unknown dental issues will generally worsen over time and many will eventually hurt. Now there is an even bigger problem at hand.
Don’t wait for things to hurt! (most dental problems don’t hurt)
A major factor that always influences patient decision making is cost, as in the cost of dealing or fixing dental problems. This being said, the longer you wait to address a dental issue, the more it will likely cost. For example, what was otherwise a small cavity that could have been treated with a small filling was left untreated and now requires a big filling. If that big cavity is left untreated, eventually you may need a root canal and maybe more to save your tooth. Sometimes the problem is so bad that you have no choice but to pull the tooth. Losing a tooth or teeth bothers most people. Dentists can help you keep your teeth for your whole life through oral health coaching, education, regular check-up and cleaning visits, and the very occasional dental work. Lakewood, Colorado emergency and preventative dentist Brian Levitin encourages all patients to consider the long term ramifications of years of not going to a dentist. While in high school and college, many students do not consider a dental checkup because they do not want to spend the time or money. Unfortunately, as Dr. Levitin likes to say, “spending a small amount today can save a large amount in the future.”
Are you a “prevention-oriented” patient?
Prevention-oriented patients are regulars for cleanings and check-ups, they take advantage of digital technologies to identify dental issues when they are small, and they follow through on coaching and recommendations on oral care at home. When you do your job and your dental team does theirs the results are generally less dental work and less costly problems. Now that is a prevention oriented team!
If you are searching for a dentist in the triangle area who is prevention-oriented, give DurhamDDS and Dr. Bill Argersinger a call! We offer a generous helping of dental services and prevention coaching for patients of all ages. To set up an appointment call our office at 919-286-0779 or visit durhamdds.com for more information. Did you like the style of this post? the message resonate with you? then please like us on Facebook or +1 us if you are a gmail-er, easy to do right at the top of the page! Thanks Dr. Bill.