Saturday, July 08, 2006

What has changed? - Much about dentistry and much about how we see dentistry has changed.

What has changed? - Much about dentistry and much about how we see dentistry has changed. Thirty years ago I was treating teeth that had people attached. Today I am treating people that are appropriately attached to the realization that their oral health is intimately connected to their overall health and well-being. Every tooth is a vital organ with its own innervations, circulation, and special function.
Holistic practitioners have long appreciated the connection of disease in one part of the body intimately affecting all parts. Conventional dentistry and medicine has rediscovered, after about 80 years of denial, the bidirectional role of periodontal disease (bleeding gum tissue and retreating gum tissue and boney support). Thirty years ago I was not taught that regular hygiene visits were so instrumental in preventing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and premature and low birth-weight babies. That truth is universally accepted now. The role, of home care and of hygiene visits to detect problems early and to coach optimal home-care, has risen from a good idea to one of the most important things we can do for our patients. Who knew hygiene visits could save lives?

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