Keeping your teeth for life
It is simple – but it requires a significant change in mindset.
Every medical/dental intervention carries three different costs:
1. An emotional cost associated with undergoing a procedure;
2. A financial cost associated with the procedure; and lastly – the cost that is most often overlooked…
3. The biological cost of the procedure.
Most interventions involve some loss of your tissues – a loss that is irreplaceable. Therefore the biological cost of dental care has the potential to carry the highest price you will pay.
Secondly – people often ask, “how long will this restoration last?”
Good question. But a more pertinent question may be, “how much tooth are you cutting away, and is the restoration repairable?”
Some restorations, such as conventional ceramic crowns, carry a high biologic cost (i.e. a lot of sound tooth is cut away needlessly) as well as being difficult to repair. They may last somewhat longer – BUT – when they fail, the tooth is at risk of being lost. We’re living longer than ever before, in an age where everything is becoming throw-away. It is time that we instituted more repairability – dental care is an excellent candidate for this kind of thinking.
Lastly – a little strategy goes a very long way. If you want to keep your teeth for life – you need a strategy to deliver teeth for life. A fundamental strategy is to start all treatment with the simplest, lowest biologic cost interventions and persevere with the least aggressive strategy for as many restorative cycles as possible. Only move on to a more aggressive approach once you have exhausted simple ones.
Implementing these strategies for restorative cycles can ensure there is almost always tooth structure left for delivery of restorative care – often eliminating the need for dentures and expensive implants.
This article was originally published here at intouch Magazine.
DR ALEX HUSZTI BelleDental
Alex has had a career focused on low-biologic cost reconstructive cosmetic dental care – common sense teeth for life. Alex services clients in the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland areas.