Does this look like your teeth? Go ahead and take a look. Get real close to the mirror and take a look inside. Are you surprised at what you see? We see many patients that once shown their teeth in a photograph are disgusted. They are upset to find out that the condition of their teeth is not as healthy as they had thought.
Why does this happen? You see there are basically 3 types of dental practices. What type of dental practice do you belong? If it’s a fit then great, you will see what you expected to see when you looked in the mirror. However, if you are shocked at what you see, then chances are that you are in a dental practice that has differing values than yourself.
Let’s define the 3 types of practices:
1. The first type of dental practice that we define is an “emergency” based dental practice. In this practice, the focus is primarily on treating teeth once they begin hurting. This works well for some people, however many times once a tooth begins to hurt it’s too late. The resulting treatment is that the tooth must be pulled. Pulling teeth may be a good short-term decision, however, it causes many long-term problems that could have easily been avoided. If you go down this road, you should expect to end up with many dental problems, pain, and eventually dentures.
2. The second type of dental practice is an “insurance based” dental practice. This type of practice focuses on treatment that insurance covers the best. This may be the most common type of dental practice that you see today. Herein lies the problem… insurance companies pay best on the cheapest services. The cheapest solutions are often times not the ideal treatment. A cheap service will not last as long, and will be prone to causing more advanced problems later on in the future. A prime example is placing a large filling in a tooth, when a crown is the better alternative. The weak tooth will usually break if just a filling is used. The breaking tooth may cause the need for a root canal. Once this happens, then a crown will usually be made. Now, if the dentist had just strengthened the tooth and done the crown in the first place, the patient could have saved having the filling done, could have saved having the tooth break, could have saved having a root canal done, and most importantly could have saved pain and money.
3. The third type of dental practice is a practice that focuses on “ideal” treatment for the patient. What does ideal treatment mean? An easy way to define ideal treatment is what would the dentist choose to do for himself or his wife or his child. Ideal isn’t always the most expensive treatment, but it is the most appropriate treatment for the long-term. In the instance above, the ideal treatment for the tooth would have been a crown. The crown would have strengthened the tooth, prevented it from breaking, and probably prevented the need for a root canal.
Our practice is this third type of practice. Does the dental practice that you belong follow the same beliefs that you have? When you look in the mirror closely at your teeth are you pleased with what you see? If not, then ask your dentist why they are in that shape. When it’s all said and done…
Wouldn’t you rather have teeth that look like these? (same person after treatment)