One thing I frequently hear when meeting a new patient for the first time is, “I hate the dentist.” Understandably, going to the dentist can be uncomfortable. Many people relay stories of Novocain that failed to completely anesthetize, hours spent with the mouth open to pull one tooth, large areas of teeth drilled to remove one small cavity, which was subsequently restored with large fillings that turn black, and root canals that take days of recovery time. I myself remember celebrating my sister’s wedding with a golf-ball sized swelling, bruising, and weeks of antibiotics because of an incomplete extraction of a wisdom tooth.
Used for chewing, speaking, smiling, link to airway and digestion, evoking emotion, and esthetics, the mouth is unique in its multi-functionality. It is an ecosystem that requires a delicate balance of bacteria to maintain optimal health. My professional mission is to transition the focus of dentistry away from disease-centered treatment to disease-prevention to restore this balance for oral and overall general health. Removing barriers that harbor harmful gum-disease causing bacteria, arresting cavities at its earliest stages, all before a needle is needed. Long-term outlook rather than a immediate solution. That is the modern approach to dentistry.