Common myths in dentistry
Posted By : Dr. Preet Kanwal S Ahluwalia - B.D.S., M.D.S. (Oral Surgery)
Myth I - Extraction of a tooth can lead to loss of vision!
Fact - There is no relation between extraction of a tooth and loss of vision. If this were true, patients who have had all their teeth removed should be totally blind.
Myth II- Cleaning of teeth by the dentist leads to loss of enamel leading to sensitivity of teeth in the future!
Fact- Cleaning of teeth by the dentist is done using a very blunt instrument, which vibrates at a high speed to loosen only the dirt which has collected around the tooth. This instrument in no way scratches the enamel. Yes, the teeth may become a little loose and sensitive immediately after cleaning but this may be temporary and usually becomes normal in a weeks time.
Myth III- An extracted tooth need not be artificially replaced!
Fact- A tooth however badly decayed should be tried to be saved. However, if it has to be removed, it must be replaced as soon as possible.
If the tooth is not replaced, then gradually the teeth adjacent to the gap will start tilting towards this gap leading to food collection. Opposite tooth also grows down causing similar problems in the opposite arch teeth too. Therefore, a lost tooth must be replaced within maximum of 6 months not only for the aesthetic purposes but for stability of adjacent and opposing teeth and gums.
Myth IV- Braces for correcting malpositioned teeth can be put for children only!
Fact- Although the ideal age for putting braces to correct tooth positions is between 11 to14 years, people of all ages up to 45 years can gain much by using braces. Adult treatment can take slightly longer time and may not be ideally finished but certainly the gross problem can be corrected.
Myth V- Whatever we do or how much we care, loss of teeth after a certain age is inevitable!Fact- Proper oral hygiene and regular check up with your dentist can enable you to retain teeth throughout life.
Myth VI- Dental care and related problems are hereditary and so no amount of care and treatment can help one whose parents have bad teeth to retain a good dentition!
Fact- Inheritance plays a very less role in dental health. For good dental health it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and regularly visit the dentist.
Myth VII- Dental treatment is extremely painful!
Fact- Not any more because of the advent of extremely effective local anesthetic and better technology.
Myth VIII- Dental treatment is expensive!
Fact- It is true that dental treatment is expensive and this is the reason why routine check ups are advised which enable to detect problems at an early stage and even prevent problems from developing. Treatment charge for such routine check ups and corrections of minor initial problems are minimal compared to the cost of management of advanced disease.
Take for example, charges for replacement of a tooth is more than treating an infective tooth with root canal therapy which in turn is more expensive than filling a decayed tooth with silver amalgam before infection has set in and so on.
Myth IX- Teeth cannot be saved once they start paining!
Fact- Teeth can be saved by a process called Root Canal Treatment (R.C.T.). In R.C.T., the infected pulp is removed and filled with inert material. So this way the tooth is dead but can be used normally and need not be extracted.
Myth XI- There is no need for cap/crown over tooth after Root Canal Treatment (R.C.T.)!
Fact- Following R.C.T., the tooth becomes brittle and is more susceptible to fracture due to uneven forces. Therefore, it generally needs protection with crown/cap.