Perhaps this title might seem a bit crass, but hopefully I have gotten your attention because what you are about to read can literally change your life!
I want to tell you a story that could be about you…or about anyone you know or love.
What most people don’t realize is that there are three reasons why people can lose some, or all, of their teeth within their lifetime, but the choices we make every day influence whether that happens…or not!
The three reasons we can lose our teeth are:
- Gum Disease
- Bad bite
The first two are actually a behavioral disease. What do I mean by that? Read on and I will tell you a story that can have a profound influence on your dental future and your overall health.
The age of the person in this story can be any age, from 3 years to 103 years. The story is meant to illustrate the most common problem I see in dentistry today…
The Dreadful Story
A patient, Phil (the name has been changed to protect the innocent), goes to the dentist and has a small cavity on the chewing surface of one tooth. Not understanding why, or how the cavity started, he has the tooth cleaned and filled then goes on with his life.
The next time Phil goes to the dentist, they discover plaque on the side of that same tooth, and where the plaque is – there is another cavity. The dentist places a filling over the chewing surface, over the side and between the teeth.
The next time Phil goes back to the dentist, they notice more plaque on the side of that same tooth. Now there is more decay where the original filling was placed on the side of the tooth. Phil had to have the “new” filling removed and the decay cleaned out. The dentist places a larger filling over the problem tooth and Phil goes on with his life.
A few years later, Phil has even more plaque and decay around the tooth. The dentist tells Phil that he needs a crown because now his tooth structure is too weak and the tooth would surely break if they just placed another large filling. Again, Phil takes the dentist’s advice and gets a crown placed to cover up the tooth.
The next year, Phil has decay under the edge of the crown. The tooth has become very sensitive and the next step is to have a root canal to remove the infected nerve tissue caused from the deep decay. Phil moves on with his life.
Phil started to frequently drink soda, which led to more decay under the crown. To remedy the problem, the tooth has to be removed and replaced with an implant. Unfortunately this same destructive process continues to happen to his other teeth too. Now Phil has several restored and missing teeth. Phil wonders why he has had so many problems with his teeth throughout his life and thinks perhaps he just has ‘soft teeth’.
Sadly, what Phil went through all could have been avoided. If Phil’s dentist would have taken the time to help him understand and choose a path of health, rather than choosing the common cycle of destructive dental disease.
By controlling the sticky, acidic plaque, Phil could have prevented his teeth from softening up and decaying. He also could have prevented the gum disease from the plaque build-up that was not removed daily.
At Strevey Dental we believe that people do not want to go through what “Phil” went through, yet it happens too often. Why would anyone want to go through the disease, repair and repeat process when there are better options? I have yet to meet anyone who craves having more dental work done. We believe that if people knew they had the choice between health and disease, everyone would choose health.
We are passionate about helping our patients understand how to choose health and avoid this disease cycle model. It takes a dedicated team to help patients understand how to avoid this, BUT more importantly it takes a patient to CHOOSE this for themselves and to PARTICIPATE in this process.
We might only see a patient a handful of times throughout a year (hopefully less) and all the other days of the year the patient must participate and control their own level of health. We love helping ‘coach’ patients toward health, but you, the patient, must choose Health.
Dentistry is truly a behavioral disease and at Strevey Dental we want to work with those individuals, or families that would like to participate in their health and avoid the ‘dreadful story’.