Why do people opt to have their teeth extracted?
In our parents' generation, as a 21st birthday present, it was a common thing to have all teeth removed and dentures put in to substitute for them, or if a bride was married before her 21st birthday she would be walked up the aisle with the set already in place.
"Are those your own teeth love?" "Well, my dad paid the dentist for them, so in that respect I do own them, if that's what you mean? I haven't borrowed them" I have been a dentist for 25 years, I have never yet met a 21 year old who needed all their teeth extracted. 20 year olds today would be baffled by the suggestion that they should have all their teeth removed at the age of 21. People nowadays are holding on to their teeth for a lifetime and why should they expect anything else?
Imagine you went to the doctor with a sore toe and the doctor said, "You have an ingrowing toenail, the diagnosis is very clear. Your options for treatment are either fixing it with some surgery and that will cost you $1000 or we can cut it off for $240. What do you want to do?". So you have a think about it for a minute and you say, "I think I'll just get you to amputate it. Can you do it today? It is killing me."
Have you noticed all the poeple around who have maybe only 3 fingers on one hand and none at all on the other and maybe a few toes missing as well? No you haven't! Our fingers and toes are sacred to us because they are part of our body, we would only have one of those amputated if there was absolutely no other option. Our teeth are also part of pur body, if you wouldn't do it to your toe then why would you do it to your teeth?
The truth is that dentists have been a substantial part of the reason why amputation of our teeth became so common and accepted. Back in days of yore when the dentist was also the surgeon and the barber, the standard treatment for most infections was to cut whatever was smelling really bad. A toe is a lot harder to amputate than a tooth so as a consequence, once treatments for infection became a lot better, treatment for infected toes moved away from amputation and toward trying to keep it, but remained amputation for teeth. And as a consequence of a tooth being so simple to remove the logic became, "what's the point in trying to save a tooth when extracting it is so easy?". So dentists didn't try very hard to save a tooth.
Nowadays nearly all my patients want to save their teeth but there are still some dentists who subscribe to the, 'what's the point in trying hard to save a tooth" approach.
And in truth we don't actually need our teeth, if you take need to be the most basic elements of food, sleep and oxygen. We don't even need our clothes either, although it is fantastic that there has been almost universal adoption of that whole clothes idea. But we are much, much more than just our basic needs. Having our teeth is all about quality of life. We use our mouths to eat, talk, laugh with friends over dinner, express our greatest hopes, comfort loved ones through the grief of bereavement, make the first connection to our soulmates with a smile.
We need more than just what keeps us alive and our teeth are the foundation stone of our lives.
We're for quality of life in Dentistry @ Ballarat. Teeth, toes and all.
Dr. Ian Harper
FAQsWhy do you take an hour for the first exam, when other dentists don’t? There are many problems that a patient can present with on their first appointment. Sometimes the health of your teeth and all the structures that surround your teeth are perfect. But we don’t know what we will find when we’re seeing a patient for the first time. So before we can give you the “all clear” we feel that we have to set aside enough time to explore all your presenting issues (and not just the obvious ones that are quick to spot.) You can rest assured that our standard fee is charged for this comprehensive 1 hour appointment.
Comprehensive Exam Why do I need to see a hygienist? Can’t the dentist just clean my teeth? Will they cost more? Hygienists’ training is dedicated to caring for gums, whereas dentists cover a much wider field of diagnosis. A narrower, more detailed focus generally means that more problems can be diagnosed at an earlier stage when treatment is easier, cheaper and with a better prognosis
Hygienists usually spend more time with you, thoroughly cleaning your teeth. They also can provide you with advice on how to take really great care of your smile. And, it doesn’t cost any more to see a hygienist!
Gum health requires more regular checking than the teeth. The hygienist is an economic way for you to have your teeth cleaned regularly without having to see the dentist every time—similar to seeing your GP when you have the flu, rather than getting an appointment with a specialist surgeon.
Maintaining Healthy Gums I haven’t been to a dentist in years & I’m worried about what they might find. At Dentistry @ Ballarat our team understands that fixing dental problems that may have been brewing for years can see the bills mount. That is why we’ll make certain that you get a treatment plan that allows you to be aware upfront of indicative costs and time. We also offer GE credit to assist with payment plans so that you can rest assured that you can budget accordingly.
We always focus on preserving teeth as much as possible and practicable. Dental problems compound if left untreated and that generally means the optimal time to start is straightaway. While the prospect of getting a number of procedures to fix your dental problems can be worrying, the best place to start is with a roadmap that will let you know where we need to go.
Services What’s the difference between a porcelain filling
and a cheaper one? Porcelain fillings are incredibly strong. A porcelain filling gives the tooth back its strength. Research has shown that the strength of the tooth is restored by porcelain to between 80–100% of its original strength. A usual (composite) filling comes nowhere close to that. Amalgam (silver) fillings are even worse—actually sometime causing teeth to fracture.
Porcelain fillings are more compatible with natural teeth than any basic filling material. Composite wears much faster than enamel and can break down base of the tooth, allowing decay to get into the tooth. No filling carries a 100% guarantee, but porcelain fillings come closer than any other basic filling material.
Cosmetic Dentistry How do our dentists look
aftertheir own teeth? You can read about Dr Ian Harper’s personal experience here. Why do I need X-rays?
Do they do me any harm? The fear of X-rays is understandable. However, the dosage of dental X-rays is very low compared to medical X-rays. In fact, X-rays surround us constantly whether we are at the dentist or not, in the form of background radiation, something which is given off by every object. You would need to take nearly 100,000 dental X-rays to equal the dosage of background radiation you experience over an average lifetime. Our digital X-ray system makes them even safer, reducing dosage by 50%.
We cannot always see where decay has managed to enter the tooth. X-rays prevent unnecessary fillings and allow us to do only the fillings that need to be done. Early diagnosis of decay also prevents the need for root-fillings into the future. If it isn’t currently broken,
do I need to get it fixed? A “stitch in time saves nine” describes our approach perfectly.
Our teeth have to serve us from when we are 6 to 106, and while the rest of the body can repair itself after being damaged, our teeth depend on us to be fixed.
Sometimes a tooth can be fixed after it has fractured; then again, sometimes the fracture is catastrophic and the only alternative is to extract it. No matter how easily it can be fixed, the prognosis for the tooth is always better if there is more of the tooth left to fix. That implies that the dentist and any assisting team members should use their experience and knowledge to identify those teeth which are heading in the direction of catastrophic failure and advise the patient accordingly.
The same preventive principles also apply to the other two most common causes of tooth loss: decay causing abscess and gum disease.