Should You Trust Your Dentist?
Some of us may know how it is to be at someone else’s mercy but almost everybody knows how it is to be at their dentist’s mercy. Imagine when you are at the dentist for a checkup and some minutes later, he/she tells you that you have this and that in your mouth which you have got to let him/her fix. And this will cost you your arm and both your legs unless you have a super-duper insurance.
But how do you know what he or she is telling you is correct? How do you know that all those things that need fixing are real and not a payment for his or her kids’ college? Most of us take it by blind faith cause either we trust the dentist or we have no other choice.
Unfortunately, in the last couple of decades, the dentistry or at least most of it has changed purpose not unlike other healthcare services. The primary focus has shifted towards making more and more money. When the dental clinics by the minute are getting bought up by big investment groups that don’t know shit about dental work, this development was really inevitable. But there are still family dentists with utter most care for their patients, dentists who treat their patients’ teeth as their own teeth like the dentists at Tannlege tjenester i Fagerstrand. But you have to look for them.
The big company owned, money-making dental clinics in turn changed how most of dentists operate. The focus on patients and their health has decreased. A clear example of this is “caries diagnostics” or in simpler words, diagnosing cavities. When it comes to drilling cavities and filling them, the dentist should diagnose the cavity based on x ray and direct visualization in the mouth. Diagnosing the cavity is in principle confirming its existence and location and approximating the size and color/texture of the cavity.
As a general rule if the cavity or more precise the decay is limited to the outer layer of the tooth (enamel), then the decay should not be drilled into. The patient must be informed about it and instructed in optimal oral hygiene and in optimal eating patterns. If this is done properly by the patient, these kinds of decay (the white and pink arrow) will not progress and even get somewhat better.
This is a very good opportunity for a dentist with not completely pure motives to make more money. This is by telling you that all these three are cavities and all three need to be drilled into and repaired. When in fact two of them are basically two small spots of less-dense enamel (caused by dental plaque) which are harmless given that the patient has adequate hygiene.
This is many of the instanced where the dentist can decide one or other thing on your behalf based on his/her integrity and motives. Patients who naturally can’t see inside their mouth and don’t know how to read and interpret the x rays will often put their faith into the doctor.
Traditionally dentists and doctors have had a pretty big stature. Patients don’t usually question the dentist’s abilities and skills. Dental work is the most delicate work there is which varies hugely in quality from one dentist to another. Does your dentist show you before and after pictures and x-rays of the work he or she has done?
Your dentist can easily damage your teeth:
Now if the dentist doesn’t have your best in mind as the first, second and third priority, it is unbelievably easy for him or her to damage your teeth. Take a look at the X-ray pictures below:
The red arrows in these pictures show how the dentist has damaged sound and healthy tooth structure while putting a filling on the neighboring tooth. This is a common sight but most patients don’t even know about this. There are lots of careless dentists out there. So, next time when you pay a visit to your dentist, be sure to ask about before and after pictures and ask the dentist to explain what’s been done and anything that you might not understand in the pictures. If he or she doesn’t have any problem with that, then you probably could trust the dentist.