The old model of dentistry was this. Tooth decay happens on high risk areas of the teeth (in between, and in the pits and grooves) where a toothbrush doesn’t spend enough time and too much eating of sugar. Can you imagine what a parent thinks when the dentist delivers the news: “Jimmy has 3 cavities”. You can’t shake off this huge sense of guilt and shame.
Well, nowadays, cavities are not all equal. Old school cavities still exist in certain populations, but dental decay is a lot more complex than we once believed. Cavities happen in places that are difficult to impossible to keep clean. These areas can be, as above, in between, pits/grooves, and under old fillings. Diagnosis of this has turned out to be more difficult than we thought, as there are over 50 shades of grey in our small x-rays. At our office, we utilise digital intraoral photography… we take a huge closeup of your tooth, and we can both discover what a healthy intact tooth looks like, and what an unhealthy about-to-give-you-trouble tooth looks like.
As there are more people over the age of 50 with teeth, would you think their teeth would be as strong as a teenager or uni student? That’s why we also look for signs of wear and tear in the forms of flattening of teeth, or cracks which can lead to broken and fractured teeth. These signs, despite symptoms, usually warrant a discussion and, with your permission, a recommendation.
Why do we even bother to look? Because we want to help you keep your teeth for as long as you want to. Some people believe their lives are better with dentures. Some people want to keep what’s naturally theirs. You can decide which group you belong to, and we’ll help you no matter what you choose.