The Most Damaging Myths and Misconceptions
I have been treating patients for 30 years and I am still surprised at some of the misconceptions people have about dentistry. I call these dental “myths.” These are the top 11 myths that people have about dentistry:
IF I AM NOT IN PAIN MY TEETH AND GUMS MUST BE HEALTHY!
Dental disease is silent, painless and progressive. It is severe before it is painful.
ONCE MY TOOTH HAS A CROWN OR FILLING IT CAN NEVER DECAY!
All dental work will eventually breakdown, and the tooth around the dental work can still decay. The dental work itself is a repair and can itself breakdown. Once a tooth has been repaired, whether it is a crown or filling, it is weaker than its original God-given state.
MY ROOT CANAL TOOTH CAN NEVER HURT AGAIN!
The root canal removed the nerve inside the tooth, but there are still many nerves in the bone and gums that can cause sensitivity or pain.
A CROWNED TOOTH CAN NEVER FRACTURE!
The tooth left underneath the crown can fracture no matter how it was restored.
I DON’T HAVE DENTAL INSURANCE SO I CAN’T GO TO THE DENTIST!
Insurance benefits have drastically reduced since the inception of dental insurance in the mid-sixties. The delaying of dental treatment will cost you more than insurance benefits will cover if the treatment becomes complex (root canals and crowns). Delaying your treatment and maintenance will only cost you more money in the long run.
I HAVE SOFT TEETH!
The amount of decay you have is related to the amount of plaque left on the surfaces of your teeth not the hardness of your teeth. Your home care and diet will determine the amount of dental treatment you require for your lifetime.
ALL DENTISTRY IS THE SAME!
There are many new materials, technologies and techniques in dentistry that allow dentists to do a better job on your teeth. The experience and amount of continuing education of the doctor will also determine the quality of the dental care.
DENTAL WORK IS PERMANENT!
Nothing that you put in your mouth will last forever. It is exposed to bacteria, yeast and fungi and all the forces of your bite pressure. There are many things that can help what dental work you do require to last, like proper home care and maintenance.
MY TEETH WILL LAST MY LIFETIME!
Your teeth and gums will remain healthy and stable based on the quality of your home care and maintenance. If you do not care for them, they will not last.
THEY ARE JUST TEETH!
People with their natural teeth live longer than people with dentures. A healthy mouth influences your overall health. People with gum disease are at a higher risk for heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Your smile is also one of the first things that people notice and form an impression about you. It can have a huge effect on your self esteem as well.
MY BITE IS FINE!
The way your teeth come together dramatically influences the amount of stress and pressure your teeth are subjected to. The better you bite, the fewer dental problems you will have. Your bite can even influence or cause headaches!