Darn,I hope that’s not the case, but if it is, you ‘re not alone. And, when confronted with an overwhelming problem we humans often behave like a deer caught in the headlights. We freeze and refuse to take any action.
Are you Really Hopeless? Why are You So Afraid?
Why? It’s possible that you are afraid the dentist will yell at you, or afraid of the cost. or afraid of the pain. And these are all valid fears! Another big worry is that losing teeth means you are getting old. Well it even happens to dentists – we are human too.
So take a breath here – you may have a few teeth that are hopeless – ok, that happens. But what about the other ones? Let’s do our utmost to save them.
How do I deal with a train wreck?
First: I figure out why the wreck occurred. Do you “Do the Dew?” Are you a heavy smoker? Do you crunch on ice or popcorn kernels? There are a million reasons. If the the cause of the problem is not corrected, you’ll invest a lot of time effort and money only to see everything fail again.
Second: I establish a good foundation – just like building a house. Then you have to take care of that foundation.
Third: I try to make sure that you can chew properly. If you are missing back teeth, the front teeth will wear out quickly – they are not made for heavy chewing. Missing molars will cause all of the other teeth to work harder.
Fourth: I want you to look good! Maybe you can’t afford the Julia Roberts smile right now, but it’s achievable by almost anyone in this day and age. (Of course, the rest of you may not look like Julia, but you can have her smile)
Let me tell you my favorite train wreck story:
In 1982, I had to tell C. the bad news. I didn’t think she would have her teeth after five more years. She was a heavy smoker, had given a great deal of her calcium to five incredible kids and her teeth were on very shaky ground. There was massive bone loss and decay. She asked me, “so tell me what can I do to stop this?”
We came up with a plan and she followed it to the letter. Fast forward 30 years forward and most all of those teeth are still in C.’s mouth. My conclusion here is that your body wants to be healthy, but you need to give it that chance. You need to get rid of the germs and the factors causing the problem. Do that and you are halfway home – train wreck averted.
C.’s case is one of the reasons that I love what I do. Maybe you won’t have the same luck, but then maybe it isn’t about luck, eh?
Lastly, put your dental problems in perspective. My life is devoted to helping people take care of their smile, their teeth and being able to chew – but honestly, it’s not the same threat as heart failure or stage IV cancer. (We deal with patients that have those problems all the time also)… so put it in perspective.