Flossing. Brushing. Nutrition. Continued Care Appointments. Patients that undergo dental care have an obligation to followup their care with home care. If a patient decides to smoke, in spite of what the research shows, the consequences can be severe. If a patient decides to not followup excellent dental care with good nutrition and oral hygiene, the consequences can be severe, as well. Dentistry has advanced greatly over the last few years.
Invisalign, Sedation Dentistry, Laser Dentistry, Advances in Dental Technology, Digital Xrays, Porcelain Veneers, Porcelain Crowns. All of these advances in Cosmetic Dentistry are only as good as what goes on outside of our office.
We recently treated a patient for extensive restorative care. It was a cosmetic reconstruction. The patient was thrilled with the result. His responsibility is now to keep up with his regular maintenance appointments and keeping up with his oral hygiene. His lack of doing so in the past got him to need the reconstruction in the first place. So now there has to be a change in behavior (difficult, but important to achieve) so that the past does not become prologue. In other words, he now has to learn that his ‘homework’ is to keep up with his hygiene and nutrition and come in for his routine cleanings and examinations. So often patients believe that the end of the cosmetic makeover ends with the cementation of the ceramic veneers, inlays/onlays and crowns. It is just the beginning!!!
If a patient goes home and starts eating Good and Plenty licorice candies 24/7, what do you think that will do to any fine dental work in his/her mouth. That’s right. It will cause decay. So often we hear a patient say, “Oh, I can’t get decay in those teeth, they have crowns on them.” No, No, No!!! You can get decay under perfectly good restorative treatment if plaque hangs around the margins for a period of time. So this is where we are responsible to educate our patients so that they can maintain their own dentition whether the teeth are natural or man-made.
So watch your nutrition, brush and floss. And, of course, have regular dental visits to maintain optimum dental health.
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