Dental Therapy Department. Establish Mouth Health

Establish Mouth Health

Before Attempting Restorative Work

BY ROBERT A. STEVENSON, D.D.S., R. Ph.

Dental Therapy Editor

 

                Complete dental service should be accorded each patient undergoing dental treatment, yet it is rarely practiced.

By complete dental service we mean the rendering to the patient, all of the knowledge known to dental science for the prevention of oral ill health.

Dental disease is so wide spread that every person needs complete instruction on preventive measures to aid him in his fight against dental destruction. Many people believe that dental disease is a necessary entity and that it is futile to attempt to stem its ravages. There is no more effective means to educate the public of the advances our profession has made in the control of mouth disease than through the personal counsel of the dentist.

The establishment of mouth health is the first requisite of any dental service. We do not fulfill the purpose of our profession when we release patients from our offices with unclean and unhealthy mouths and without knowledge as to the means by which this condition may be corrected.

No restoration or replacement can long endure, if the environment is unhealthy. It is something difficult for us to realize that the health side of dentistry is an important as the restorative, or mechanical phase.

We are willing and trained to correct the damage of disease, but not so willing or so trained to correct the cause of disease. This oversight often leads to the discouraging experience of having beautiful restorations destroyed by an absence of mouth health. We justify our position with the patient by explaining that it is the fault of disease and not the workmanship, but is this true? It is true only if we have made every effort to establish and maintain mouth health.

It is probably one of the most gratifying experiences in dental practice to so instruct a patient on matters of oral hygiene that he transforms a filthy unhealthy mouth to one of health and cleanliness.

Complete advice is essential to the success of establishing mouth health. There are probably three main points of importance: nutritional balance, oral prophylaxis and cleanliness, and exercise of the teeth and investing tissue. On these three points a health talk can be built for patients that will establish the dentist as a real health practitioner.

Let us start 1936 with a pledge to advise and prescribe oral health for our patients.