It is always upsetting to see people in pain but it is doubly so when you see that the profession I am part of and love has not helped them as much as they should have.
The following case highlights one such time when this individual visited a dentist (abroad on this occasion although sadly we are not immune from this sort of incident here in the UK) and complained of pain on the right hand side of the mouth. Two fillings were placed in two upper teeth but it was clear from the radiographs taken shortly afterward that not all the decay had been removed from these teeth and also a very large cavity in the lower jaw had been missed. (The dentist at the time did not take any x-rays before beginning treatment which is always unwise when one is trying to find the cause of a patients pain).The two fillings in the upper jaw were overfilled and a ledge had formed between them, which caused discomfort and prevented any effective cleaning in the area.
Fortunately we were able to replace the two upper fillings and provide a root canal filling in the lower tooth, which resolved all of the patients pain and problems after their first visit with us. There is now no ledge between the two fillings in the upper jaw allowing the patient to keep this area completely clean and comfortable.
Obviously at times of recession we are all looking to save money where we can but we need to be very careful of “false economies” when we buy anything, dentistry included. My tips for saving money on dentistry at any time are always the same-
1) Care for your teeth well at home on a daily basis.
2) See a hygienist regularly to ensure that you are doing everything you can to care for your teeth. Hygienist visits cost less than a visit to the dentist and can save you unnecessary pain and expense by showing you how to give your teeth the best possible home care .
3) Don’t ignore early warning signs like increasing sensitivity, food trapping, bleeding gums, broken fillings or pain on chewing. Tooth ache is a very poor early warning system. By the time we get to teeth causing real pain it always ends up costing more or, worse, the tooth being lost so if you are getting minor problems don’t wait for them to become big problems!
4) Build up a good working relationship with a dental team you like and trust. This is perhaps the most important tip and the importance of it cannot be overlooked. If both dentist and patient take the view that ” we are in this together” then there is chance for both parties to benefit equally and that is worth its weight in gold.