11 Myths & Fairy Tales

1.   “A Dentist is a Dentist is a Dentist.”

Not all dentists are created equal.   Dentistry is constantly changing and for the better.   Your dentist has to keep up and you should know that he or she does.   You should be referred when appropriate.

2.   “Dentistry is expensive.”

Yes and No.  Good dentistry can be one of the best investments you can make for your health and longevity.   Bad dental care or no dental care can be very costly in terms of time, money, pain and your overall health.  Studies conclude that people who keep their teeth live longer.

3.  “My dental insurance will cover it all.”

Unlike medical insurance, dental insurance has an annual limit.  Insurance companies promote a product that is really a limited rebate program.   You buy a service and get reimbursed a certain amount.  Insurance companies are not in the position to offer you the best dental care possible.  It’s just too costly for them, particularly if you have serious dental problems.   By their design, dental plans encourage “patch up” dentistry rather than comprehensive care, which is in your best interest.

4.  “I can save money if I just put off the dental work.”

Putting off dental work can be both expensive to your pocketbook and costly to your health.  Dental problems get worse and not better by themselves.  Dental care is not elective.  It should be a regular part of your health care.

5.  “Losing one tooth is not a big deal.”

If you lose even one tooth, you can greatly reduce your chewing ability.  The teeth around the gap drift. Leaving their natural  “utility zone” and are repurposed for a job they were not meant to do.  It’s the beginning of a domino effect that can lead to more stress and more tooth loss.

6.  “I go every 6 months, so I can’t really have too many problems.”

Unfortunately that may not be true.  If you have untreated or undertreated problems in your mouth, maintenance visits may not be enough.  Incomplete care and undiagnosed problems are commonly seen related to both stress management and gum disease.  Both these conditions can cause a slow but steady deterioration that may only be apparent to you when it’s too late.   The cure: Comprehensive evaluation and care.

7.  “My poorly aligned bite and crowded teeth aren’t a big deal.”

Actually, it may be a very big deal.  Some estimate that 75% of headaches are related to muscle contractions that can be related to poor bites.  Crowded teeth make stresses harder to cope with and predispose you to gum problems because they are just harder to clean.

8.  “I’ve been told I couldn’t have implants.”

Implants have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth because they work and are predictable.   Implants don’t get decay and they help conserve other teeth and the bone of the jaws and face.  Implant placement is a rapidly changing science and we’re now able to place implants in areas that previously were challenging.   Again, the proper expertise is the key.

9.  “My Parents lost their teeth, so my problems must be hereditary.  I’m Doomed.”

No you’re not.  While some tendencies and problems are hereditary, the sooner they’re diagnosed the more likely they can be effectively treated and resolved.  Gum disease, the most common culprit in tooth loss is a very treatable disease today.   Your home care and the expertise of your Dentist are the real factors.

10.  “My gums always bleed when I brush my teeth, so it must be normal.”

No it’s not!  Bleeding gums are the first sign of inflammation and inflammation is, today, considering a prime menace to your overall health.  If your gums bleed you need professional help and the sooner the better.

11.  “I’m stuck with the smile I have.”

No you’re not.  Almost everyone can get the smile of his or her dreams… or close to it.   It may take some doing and not every Dentist can accommodate the really challenging cases.   For some, it can be as simple as some bonding, whitening or cosmetic reshaping.  Others may require orthodontics, cosmetic gum reshaping and veneers.   People and some dentists don’t know what’s possible with today’s techniques.  We can do truly amazing smile transformations.