Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Patients,

This picture has nothing to do with the post, just a cat enjoying a sunny day in a sunroom.

You all seem a little unclear lately of what is expected on both sides of our relationship. I thought I'd take the time to put in writing how this dentist/patient relationship goes, and what kinds of things you can expect to accomplish in my office.
No I cannot orthodontically move your teeth in order to apply a theoretical remineralization serum that will cure your cavites.  Unfortunately this does not exist at this time, and no, it does not exist at Tufts dental school in a lab upstairs in their building. In addition, believe it or not, it is significantly more invasive for you to have said orthodontic treatment, unnecessarily moving teeth in your bone and altering your periodontal support in order to avoid 3-5 minutes of treatment with the dental handpiece.
Also, I will not be able to "glue back on" crowns that have broken out of your mouth after years of dental neglect. Not only will this not work, it is foul and unethical. Furthermore, I do understand that you are "very busy" as you are very important and a genius, so by all means, please do see if you are able to find another dentist who will accomodate your request. Another clinician may be able to appreciate your position better than I am able at this time.  While I caution against treating individual teeth instead of your general oral health,  I wish you the best of successes in your present endeavor.
Moving on - many of you do in fact, clench and grind your teeth. This is why many of your posterior teeth are flattened or broken despite the fact you do not have dental decay in these areas. I do not work on commission for the night guard folks, in fact, I'm on salary here at the office. There is nothing in it for me if you get the night guard or not. It is not a conspiracy. There is no need to conduct experiments at night to disprove the theory that you have type A tendencies and are a hard worker coping with a maladaptive oral habit. We all have to find ways to deal. There is no stigma associated with bruxism. If you do in fact, get this night guard, you are likely to save thousands of dollars in dental treatment and effectively protect your temperomandibular joint from further damage.
Finally, I want you to know that I have the deepest respect for all of you. You work hard and you are all amazing people. I will do my very best to eradicate any odontogenic disease and restore your dentition to the best of my abilities with the materials that exist and are available.  Please remember to use a fluoridated toothpaste and an extra soft, compact bristle toothbrush or an electrical toothbrush like Sonicare or OralB, keep your dental appointments and arrive on time. I look forward to continuing our goal of ensuring your oral health together.

Best regards,
Dr. Labord-ay.

1 comment:

  1. The blog is making me feel super guilt about not having gone to the dentist in 2 years. Sigh. This feels like confession. I'm going to make an appointment tomorrow er after next week definitely!