Top Ten Myths, Mistakes, and Misunderstandings About Dentistry
There are a lot of myths about dental care, teeth, dentists and oral health. The mistakes that people make with their teeth are needless; if they really understood the decisions they were making far fewer mistakes would be made. The purpose of this article is to set the record straight, prevent the mistakes and to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that get people in trouble with their teeth.
Myth 1: “A dentist is a dentist is a dentist.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Think of it this way: if you were hiring an attorney to buy a house, you would hire a real estate attorney. If you were going to a courtroom, you would hire a litigator. If you’re going to hire an architect to build a house, you’d hire a very different architect than the one paid to develop a whole city. Likewise, it’s important for you to understand just what type of dentist you need. For many, a regular family dentist is the right answer. For others, that’s not nearly enough. The more serious your dental needs are, the more experience, training, talent, skill, and judgement you need. One reason for this book is to help you know the difference.
Myth 2: “My regular dentist can handle everything.”
Most often, this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s dangerous to assume that your dentist knows everything that you need him to know. Be skeptical, and understand that sometimes you need to find the dentist who has more care, skill and training. The gap between dentists – in skill, knowledge, and training – is greater than it has ever been.
Myth 3: “When they get bad, just take them out.”
Boy, if this were only the right solution, we would love it! Removing the offending tooth does make sense in a way: it gets rid of the pain. But every time you remove a tooth there is a whole series of chain reactions that occur: your other teeth move. The gap or space created causes additional stresses on other teeth, often resulting in an impaired chewing function, gum disease and loss of still more teeth. If simply yanking teeth were the end-all solution, people would just take all their teeth out and get dentures. In fact, for a time in certain countries, including Canada, this was thought to be the ultimate wedding gift: To remove all the teeth and give the wedding couple dentures. Seriously. That way they would always avoid dental problems in the future. But we know that’s not true. In fact, dentures are the equivalent of oral wigs, and most people are much more satisfied with wearing their own hair than with wearing a wig.
Myth 4: “Dentures work just fine. My daddy had them, and he did just fine.”
The truth is – some people can tolerate anything. We’ve seen people who don’t wear dentures at all that manage to eat. And though it’s an extreme exception, I’ve seen people who wear upper dentures with no lower denture. Again, this is a rare exception. But what about normal dentures? How often does a person who has dentures “function normally?” One in ten at best. My guess is it’s closer to one in fifteen. Unfortunately you won’t know if you can tolerate dentures until you’ve lost all your teeth.
Myth 5: “No one can see the back ones, it will be just fine to only fix the front.”
If I just had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that one! However insane the sentiment seems, it does point out one thing: that people value the appearance of their smile. And indeed, a lot of times people can’t see the back ones. But there are serious problems with such logic. Your back teeth are made for chewing and grinding your food. The front teeth are made for viewing. If you try to chew with the teeth made for view, the teeth will break down. The back teeth are there for a reason. They give you the ability to chew and to function. Think of your front teeth like a pair of scissors: they’re good for incising, smiling, speaking, singing, and expressing yourself. But they aren’t so good for chewing up a steak. It just doesn’t work well. And in fact, just like a pair of scissors, when you try to chew with your front teeth, you wear out the edges, your teeth shorten, start to break down and break off. Not good.
Myth 6: “My poorly aligned bite isn’t that big a deal.”
Actually, it may be a very big deal. We know that for some people, their bite being off causes them pain with chewing, pain to the jaw joints, pain in the neck, and chronic headaches. In fact, some estimate that over 75% of all headaches are muscle-contraction headaches that could be related to a poor bite. If you think of your head as about a six-pound ball sitting on your spine, balanced by all the muscles in the neck and the face and the head, you realize that when one muscle or several muscles get into a bad place -a strained position- it can pull in such a way that all the other muscles are strained. And that muscle straining causes muscle contraction. Those contractions can cause headaches.
We often find that people whose bite is off will accommodate by changing their neck posture. And as soon as their neck posture changes, they start to have neck pain. This frequently occurs with computer users who sit in front of a monitor all day long. Additionally, whenever you affect the spine, that effect ripples from the top to the bottom of the spine. Not only that, bite misalignment can cause you to break or crack teeth, or cause the dental work to wear prematurely, excessively or even fail. So, the bite being off can be a very big deal. We know that a bad bite causes a lot of stress to the entire chewing mechanism, and this stress doesn’t relieve itself easily. It takes time and a lot of relaxation. So I sometimes see people that are heavily medicated just to put up with their pain. It isn’t necessary. I’ve seen people whose bite is off who have accommodated for years and years and suddenly, because of their other stresses in life, they no longer have the “body energy” necessary to maintain themselves in spite of that bad bite, and things start to go downhill.
Often, and to my dismay, I hear: “This is the way God made me, so it must be okay.” Well, it isn’t okay. When you can’t see, most get a set of glasses or contact lenses or have some type of surgery to correct things. If your hand isn’t working correctly, almost anyone would seek therapy and sometimes surgery to get his hand functioning correctly. The “God made me this way” argument usually doesn’t work out so well. Wouldn’t you agree?
Myth 7: “Dentists really aren’t well trained anyway – at least not like real doctors.”
All dentists have four years of undergraduate education, four years of dental school, and the good ones have myriad continuing education beyond that. Some have training well beyond the scope of what most average doctors receive. Dentists ARE trained. And today we’re actually helping to train the medical community to understand the connection between the mouth and the whole body. And together with our medical colleagues we’re beginning to realize the impact of stress and bacterial infection from tooth decay and gum disease and its effect on your whole body.
Myth 8: “My teeth don’t really matter that much.”
Wrong. Your teeth do matter. They matter at every level: Your looks, your health, your own self-concept, and how long you live. Keep reading and you’ll never hold onto that myth again. Man is the only mammal that can live at all without its teeth. All other mammals die without their teeth. Do you think the loss of your teeth is innocuous? Think again.
Myth 9: “My parents both lost their teeth, so my problems must be hereditary.”
Just because your parents lost their teeth doesn’t mean you will, too. Are some dental problems hereditary? Yes. How often is the heredity the reason that you have a dental problem? Very, very, seldom. Only in a very small percentage of cases is heredity the reason that a patient loses his teeth. Just because Mom and Dad lost their teeth due to gum disease doesn’t mean that you will. It’s more likely they didn’t care for their teeth, or didn’t know how to. The purpose of this book is for you to know how to care for your teeth so you don’t lose them.
Myth 10: “Lose a tooth for every child.”
I’ve heard this from many a mother. There is no evidence of any sort that supports the concept that for every baby that is born, you will lose a tooth. Yes, it is true that your body does go through physiologic changes during pregnancy. That’s normal, but it doesn’t mean you are destined to lose a tooth or even should.
Dentistry no longer has to mean difficulty and challenge. It no longer has to be a dread. No, dentistry doesn’t have to be that way at all. If you still feel like you hate the dentist, you’ve been seeing the wrong dentist. The new technology and techniques that we have available will make you see dentistry in a whole new way.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Charles_W._Martin
Dr. Charles Martin has been delivering cosmetic, implant and functional dental solutions for his patients from all over the world for the past 30 years. To learn more about his practice visit his website at http://www.RichmondSmileCenter.com. For a free report on the miracle of Implant Dentistry, go here: http://richmondsmilecenter.com/dental-implants/