Do you know that gum disease is a very common problem among Malaysian? According to the National Oral Health Survey of Adults (NOHSA), Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, 94% of dentate adults (adult with teeth) have some form of periodontal disease. What is…
Many patients feel self-conscious about their smile. They do not realize that in most cases something can be done. You can change your smile! You can have a dental makeover and transform your teeth into your dream smile! A dental makeover can be as simple as professional…
“Doc, there’s a walk-in patient who wants to take out a tooth,” the clinic manager informed me.
In came a gentleman of early 30’s carrying a cup of drink which he later told me was actually a cup of ice. He had to chew on ice because he had a really bad toothache that only went away by chewing ice.
As soon as he sat on the dental chair, he spoke of his guilty confession – he never went to a dentist his whole life and was very apprehensive about it.
I noted that one tooth on the lower right side had a very deep caries that might have already involved the pulp. I explained to him about his condition and he asked me to extract the tooth out because he couldn’t stand the pain. He said that he was in a meeting earlier, and although he already took painkillers he was shivering in pain because of the tooth.
I explained to him the other option that he had other than extraction; which was root canal treatment. That way, he didn’t have to lose a tooth to be pain-free. He was rather surprised at my suggestion. He didn’t know such treatment existed!
I performed an emergency pulp extirpation on the tooth (removing the infected pulp and nerve of the tooth to relieve the pain) and he would continue to finish the root canal treatment on the next visits. I also noticed that he had general calculus (tartar) deposition on his teeth and his gums were reddish and bleeding (due to the heavy calculus). I suggested for him to do a full mouth scaling and polishing to remove the calculus and aid in a better gum health.
I gave him a mirror to show him the calculus before I removed them. After I’ve done a full mouth scaling and polishing, I showed him the result. He was shocked at the difference! He never knew anything about calculus and what harm it would impose upon leaving it just like that.
We had a session of oral hygiene education where I taught him the right technique to brush, the time he should spend on brushing and also answering all of his questions regarding oral health. I was delighted that he seemed very enthusiastic about maintaining a good oral health.
Later that day, I contacted him and he said he was pain-free! A few days later, he came again to complete all the fillings needed on his carious teeth. As soon as he opened his mouth, I almost dropped my jaw! His teeth were so clean, his gums were showing good signs of healing and his overall oral hygiene was just amazing. He was a different person than when he first came to see me.
I couldn’t help but tell him how happy I was with his oral hygiene. He said he brushed three times a day now and spent more time on brushing – he did everything that I taught him on the previous visit.
As he completed his treatment that day and stepped out of my room, I smiled. I can’t believe he changed his whole perception of oral health just after that one visit. I hope he continues to take good care of his oral health, and I’ll be seeing him again for the review visit.
I remembered someone said to me a few years ago, that dentists just wish their patients to have many teeth problems so that we can reap more from our patients. Well, I was hurt by that comment, because trust me; every single dentist wants you to have a good oral health (really, if I see patients with good oral hygiene, I’m already dancing in happiness – in my mind, of course 😛). If you already have an existing problem regarding your teeth or mouth, yes, we will be glad to help. But it will make us happier when we see you working together with us by maintaining a very good oral hygiene.
If you have any problems regarding your teeth or your oral health in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re more than pleased to help you with your concern and take care of your oral health. We might even be able to help you realize any problems that you might not be aware of!
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When I first saw my last patient on Monday evening, I couldn’t help myself to grin and smile from ear to ear. I recognized this patient of mine despite what was written on my schedule. It had Madam Intan’s name and the staff put a…