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The best dentistry…

The best dentistry is no dentistry.

I realize that this sounds kind of silly coming from a dentist who actually enjoys restoring teeth. But you must realize that in a perfect world, there would be no dental decay. Gum disease would be nothing more than a bad dream. The perfect world would be one where no one would need the services of a dentist or dental hygienist. Teeth would be self cleaning, perfectly white and straight and I would be out of business.

It’s fine. I’d find something else to do. I could spend more time working on my podcast.

But it’s not a perfect world. Dental disease is still rampant. People have decay and gum disease. People break teeth and fillings all the time. So we dentists are doing fine.

The “no dentistry is the best dentistry” concept is still pretty great, though. The idea of doing the least to teeth makes me feel better. Every restoration I place, no matter how meticulously crafted and handled is still way worse than what mother nature originally gave you. In fact, I’m just as happy if you have boring teeth as I am with exciting cases!

Each treatment plan that we create takes this into account. If I’m going to propose a treatment to any part of your mouth it’s important that my treatment leaves you better off than when you started. Whether that is the placement of the very first restoration a tooth has ever had or me removing of a sick tooth I want it to improve the health of that patient. Which means we (the patient and I) have to consider how invasive any given treatment is before we embark upon any permanent treatment.

How do we do this? First, I’ll probably take photos, videos or x-rays of whatever condition we’re looking at. I use these images to explain to the patient what I’m seeing, what the condition is (the diagnosis) and whatever treatment options they have. This includes the option of no treatment with my best guess as to what would happen if the condition isn’t treated. This leads to a conversation between the patient, myself and usually our team.

These are “we” decisions, not “me” decisions. When we determine the best option for the patient, we move forward. The best option is almost always the least invasive for the situation whenever possible.

My favorite treatment? Doing an in depth, microscope based exam on a patient that’s making great choices and taking care of themselves in such a way that I can say, “you look terrific! I don’t have any treatment to recommend!”

Did this make you feel minimalist? Did it make you want to floss your teeth? I’d love to hear about it! You can share any Mead Family Dental post with a “Like” on Facebook, or you can “tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!