A world of opportunities for dental health awaits us in the new dentistry. Using the old dentistry, dentists did their best to provide a high quality of service given the state of knowledge and technology at that time.
Through advancements in treatment, research, and the desire of the dental profession to do more and do it better, the new dentistry has emerged. It is based on a foundation with specific characteristics that are of great benefit to us as consumers.
- Efficiency: Your time and your resources are valuable to you, and your dentist recognizes this. New dentistry treatment techniques and methods have considerably reduced the amount of time that the dental care now takes. The return on your investment in dental health is excellent.
- Comfort: Not only are the dental chairs and the dentistry office environments more comfortable and pleasant, improvements in the use of local anesthetics and new equipment provide more comfort than ever before.
- Collaboration: The dental relationship is now based on the value that you can derive from your dentistry team and what you want for your dental future rather than just on the techniques and procedures your dentist can do. Through continuing education, your dentist has the skills and knowledge to help you make decisions for your dental health in a positive and informed way.
- Predictability: New materials and advances in treatment provide you with opportunities to maintain your dental health throughout your life. With the innovative cosmetic and specialized dentistry approaches to reclaiming teeth that formally would be lost, your dentistry professional can help create and maintain teeth and gums. Predictable treatment, effective prevention methods, and the longevity of treatment are now part of any dental plan.
- Thoroughness: Advances in assessment and diagnosis now enable dentists to make thorough evaluations of your overall dental and oral health. The outcome is a plan for your health that will give you peace of mind, knowing you can have a well-informed dental plan in place.
- Prevention: This characteristic of the new dentistry has received much publicity in recent years. It has been proven over and over again that there are several measures that you can take as a consumer of dental care to create and maintain your dental health in collaboration with your dental team. It bears repeating again — flossing and brushing combined with regular dental hygiene checks are your greatest allies in maintaining your teeth and a bright smile.
- Precision: The new dentistry utilizes instruments and technologies that are far advanced from what was available even 15 years ago. Both general dentists and specialists have access to technologies that provide precision in diagnosis and treatment. The value for you is higher quality care.
The dental profession has established a strong foundation for a pleasant smile and a healthy dental future for all of us. Dentistry improvements are continuously being made to this foundation. You can choose to avail yourself of these improvements by asking your dentist, “What can help me to maintain my dental health?” Your dentist has the knowledge and the desire to help you.
By Brian DesRoches, PhD