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Don't wait until hurts!

"Don't wait until it hurts before you do treatment." It seems like a rather obvious truth, yet some of us don't live by it.  The temptation to procrastinate treatment seems to be universal.  After all, how many stories have we heard about unnecessary surgeries, or, worse yet, surgeries in which the patient's symptoms and primary complaint were not resolved or even made worse?  We have also all heard stories about dubious treatment done only for the reason of enriching the care giver.  All of these stories have made us a little cynical of treatment, I think.
Quite frankly, I am not the favorite for people to come see either.  Don't worry, I don't take offense! Most people view dental work as unpleasant and I think that some would rather pretend their mouths were healthy in order to avoid the experience of having things taken care of. And of course there's the expense of getting treatment done.
As a dentist, I feel so grateful for all of you patients out there.  The more part of you get your recommended treatment done. I am so grateful for your compliments, as we work hard to be as gentle as possible, using bite rests, stereo headphones, neck pillows, blankets, frequent breaks, and good communication to make your visits go well.  Thank you for all the fantastic reviews.
To the rest of you, whatever the reason may be, putting off needed dental work is a very bad idea.  Don't wait until it hurts! Cavities turn into abscessed teeth. Cracked teeth turn into split teeth.  A broken filling turns into a broken tooth.  In my career, I have seen the consequences that arise from putting off needed treatment.  I'm right here today waving a flag that says "Don't do it!  It's not good!"
Some have come to the office with swollen faces after spending time in the ER for an abscessed tooth that got away on them.  In some of these instances, the swelling has become life threatening, resistant to the anesthetic and the patient is miserable.  At these times, we have needed to run an IV and sedate the patient in order to perform the extraction or needed treatment due to the infection making the area difficult, if not impossible, to fully numb.
Others have come in with severe pain, after losing several nights of sleep, or with a tooth that has cracked off and the tongue cut from the sharp edges of the break.
Now I'm not saying that if you do all recommended treatment, you'll never have a toothache or problem.  What I am saying is that if you take care of the known problems in your life, instead of ignoring them, you'll be healthier and happier.  Act according to the knowledge you've been given. Take it from me: it's much better!


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