When was the last time you switched dentists?
Sticking with the same dentist for years is great. If you have a dentist you can trust and rely on, you may not see a need to switch, and since your oral health should be every dentist’s number one priority, that is excellent news!
However, if you have switched dentists – whether it’s because your dentist retired, you received poor customer service, or you moved to a new city – you may have had a not-so-pleasant surprise when a new dentist examines your mouth.
After years of receiving a clean bill of oral health, new patients are sometimes shocked to find out that their teeth aren’t anywhere near as healthy as they think. Often, it takes switching to a new dentist to find out that there are plenty of unaddressed oral health concerns.
Your first question? How did that even happen?
Why did my previous dentist let my problems go untreated?
Modern dentists can take advantage of the best education available. With the industry constantly evolving, there is always something new to learn.
However, this wasn’t always the case. For many years, the two major solutions for dental problems were to “drill and fill” or “pull it out.” If your former dentist didn’t have the benefit of additional education, they may have learned the standard philosophy of “watch and wait.”
That hesitancy can cause more harm than good. You may be left with bone and gum loss, staining, corroded fillings with cavities underneath, or your teeth tipping and shifting. While these problems can make you feel insecure, they also mean you have to spend time and money getting them fixed.
How do I make sure all my dental problems are being treated?
The best thing you can do to avoid costly surprises is talking to your dentist. In this case, ignorance is not bliss! The sooner you know of any problem areas, the sooner you and your dentist can work together to come up with a plan to tackle them.
With that being said, it is important to seriously consider all of your dentist’s recommendations. One of the most common responses we hear from patients is “Tell me everything you see and I will decide what I need to do.”
It’s tempting to only spring for treatment that your insurance will cover, focus on areas that hurt, or fix teeth that are broken, but watching and waiting can be more expensive and painful in the long run.
The best part about modern dentistry is that there are so many options for managing disease and maintaining your teeth for a lifetime. When you go for your next dentist appointment, make it a point to ask them to show you anything that may not be healthy in your mouth, and be serious about taking care of the problem. If the treatment options cost more than you expect, take advantage of any payment plans that your dentist offers.
If it’s the fear of losing your teeth that’s holding you back, there are far better options than extractions that will not only treat your teeth more discreetly, but will also help you keep your teeth longer. Since people are living longer lives, the importance of keeping your own teeth for your whole lifetime becomes that much more important.
If you’re looking for a dentist who will make sure that you know and understand any and all problem areas in your mouth, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens today.