Throughout the years that I have been practising dentistry, I learned that it is not just about the skills I have to perform dental treatments to patients. It takes more than that. It is the ability and responsibility of giving options to patients when they seek treatment. Yet, this is something people are not fully aware of and it is possible that it could be due to the thought of going to see a dentist is enough to make them cringe. They often come with different causes to the clinic and expect to get what they want at the end of the visit.

I have to admit, sometimes treatment can be directly what the patient requested.

For example, Pn Som, a 73 year old lady came to Klinik Pergigian Fauziah Publika to have her denture repaired. At the same appointment she decided to have a new upper denture made. At first glance she might seem frail but little did I know how strong and opinionated lady she was. I asked her why she needed a new one when she already had two and the dentures were still firm in her mouth. But she insisted that both dentures were old and she wanted a new one with nicer, whiter teeth. I agreed to her request because the teeth on her upper denture did appear worn out and discoloured. Appearance mattered to her and the new denture gave her lighter coloured teeth and better lip support.

New upper denture for Pn Som

Another patient, Ms Lim, a lady in her 30s who came for consult on the gap she had on the upper left front teeth. She had worn braces to improve her very protruded front teeth but she was not happy with the unsightly gap. Her concern was that she will have to wear braces again to close the gap which is something she did not want especially when her wedding is in December this year. We discussed the alternative of placing composite resin on her teeth to close the gap. She seemed to like the idea but indecisive because she could not imagine how it would look like. I did a mock up directly on her teeth to show her and she agreed almost immediately! She was happy that such a simple procedure was able to resolve her concern.

Gap of Ms Lim’s upper left front teeth was closed with tooth coloured filling material

For Ms Lye, a sweet teenage girl who came and said she wanted her front teeth to look straight, the treatment was not as direct as the two other above. She did not want to wear braces because she did not like the appearance of metal wires. After examining her teeth, I had to explain to her that due to her severe crowding of her upper and lower front teeth, immediate resolution with composite veneers were not possible as a few of her teeth will have thick layers of composites. This is because some of her teeth were out of alignment therefore, masking the mal-aligned teeth with composite veneers would probably make her teeth look hideous. In this situation, treatment with braces was the best option. Constructing crowns to correct the alignment of her teeth was too extensive as she is still very young and preserving her natural teeth was definitely a top priority. Not only will she have good appearance, maintaining good oral hygiene is easier. Further, it minimises the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. I introduced her to a new generation of braces called Clear Path that she might favour as they are braces which utilise clear resins in moving the teeth and almost unseen in the mouth. She left the clinic without getting what she initially wanted but both she and her parents were more knowledgeable on the options that she had. My bonus for that session was that her father was motivated to have some treatment too after watching his daughter did scaling and a few fillings!

Unlike the two earlier patients, the last scenario is one of the many that required options for their dental treatment. At Klinik Pergigian Fauziah we have had people coming with the thought of going to lose their teeth but ended up with treatments that could save their teeth. There are those who needed missing teeth to be replaced and several methods of replacing missing teeth either with dentures, bridges or implants were discussed. Various investigations were performed including our 3D X-rays which is extremely useful in diagnosing and planning the treatment for patients. Hence, with the skills, knowledge and technology that we have at Klinik Pergigian Fauziah, we are able to offer our very best in order to give what patients deserve best.

Whatever the cause is, the most important thing for patients to be aware is that they have these options for them to make necessary decisions that may affect their lives. What better way to achieve this than just a quick visit to the dentist. Not knowing the options may be acceptable but not seeking the options is a total ignorance…

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