Teeth for Life!

Senior couple

“We’re not getting any younger…”

I’m sure if you’re in your fifties, like myself, you can cast your mind back to when you could not only run 10 kilometres – but run it in a relatively fast time. I no longer run – I find it a bit harsh on my joints. In the same way, I reflect on my patients’ dental health and dental function.

Yes, many are experiencing a decline in functional capacity. Sometimes it is due to the loss of a tooth. Sometimes, it is the progressive deterioration associated with gum disease, and sometimes it is wear/erosion of the teeth, causing tooth structure loss and a diminished capacity to chew.

Slowing the decline is largely about prevention and education. Discussions with patients about how their diet may be impacting their rate of dental decay, lifestyle issues such as shift work can be managed with some small modifications in behaviour that will greatly reduce patients’ dental decline and, of course, regular coaching around home care techniques.

The most worrying decline that I see is related to the rapid decline of the amount of sound tooth structure the patient has. This decline in sound tooth structure is hastened by the aggressive use of conventional crowns, where significant amounts of tooth structure are removed in the name of restoration. This is also often true of conventional bridges where the teeth on either side of a space are prepared for conventional crowns – rendering the teeth on either side of the space in a precarious position. Failure of one or both of these supporting teeth and the space gets bigger by at least one tooth – maybe by two teeth!

The use of adhesive technology coupled with more tooth conserving techniques around bridges (e.g. Maryland bridges) and crowns (e.g. Belledental CRCs) can invoke a five-fold decrease in the loss of sound tooth structure, ensuring there are teeth available for the next restorative cycle.

Ultimately, the recipe for dental stability and teeth for life is about executing the fundamentals with excellence, being conservative as possible every step of the road covered in a special sauce of planning and education.

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.

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