A note from Dr. Heather Adams DDS
When human beings have a condition they have lived with their entire lives, it often becomes their version of “normal.”
Sometimes it takes an outsider’s viewpoint or perspective to assist a person in understanding normal vs. abnormal.
Such is the case with most dental patients in regard to the subject of tooth wear (permanent loss of tooth structure). Tooth wear is a silent, chronic issue that left untreated results in the slow degradation of a patient’s dentition and overall oral health—this can be quite costly, unsightly, and occasionally painful over time if not addressed early.
Many times I will ask a patient a few questions like:
- Are you aware of any shape changes in your tooth?
- Have your teeth become shorter over time?
- Do you notice that you clench or grind your teeth?
Most of the time the patient answers, “no.” Now, I certainly believe the patient is telling the truth from their perspective. But the reality is they sometimes can’t fully recognize it due to it being their version of “normal.”
The picture shown is a perfect example. These are actual patients from my practice.
Patient A has irreversible tooth wear in his early 20’s. Although minor now, left untreated not only will the appearance of his smile change dramatically but to restore to his normal form and function may require more irreversible costly procedures.
Patient B has almost ZERO tooth wear in his early 20’s. Yeah! With routine night guard wear and dental care, his dental needs will be minimal and less costly as he ages. Another Yeah!
At Heather Adams Dentistry we focus on prevention and try to assist our patients with the tools to help them see and understand their current health condition.
Our goals are based on two simple ideas:
- Assist our patients to understand their current oral health status and provide them with the most up-to-date options and alternatives.
- To improve or correct things BEFORE they become costly and require more aggressive irreversible treatment.
If you have ever wondered (or are now wondering) about the current state of your SMILE, we would be delighted to provide you with an “outsider’s perspective.”
From the desk of Heather V. Adams DDS,