As a dentist, I have the daily challenge of looking at teeth and
determining what is wrong with them and what needs to be done to
protect those that appear to have problems.
This task, at first might seem easy, but when all the variables
are taken into consideration, it can be a challenging and difficult
task. Without a crystal ball to see into the future, we can't actually see what will happen to a given
tooth, dentists can only speculate, based on previous
experiences with other teeth that come through our offices.
A never ending string of patients present to dental offices with
broken teeth. Some of the broken teeth are non-restorable,
while others can be restored easily. Still others can be
restored, but they must have additional procedures such as root
canal therapy and/or crown lengthening procedures. These
additional procedures, often add significantly to the cost of
restoring a tooth. As such, it is ideal to restore a tooth
BEFORE it breaks in such a way that it requires additional, costly
procedures to fix it up.
Dentists will often use rules, standards and guidelines when
recommending certain procedures or services to their
patients. This is true, for instance, when your dentist
recommends a crown. There is no way of actually knowing
whether a given tooth will break, fracture or be lost without a
crown, but through using a set of guidelines and standards, your
dentist recommends treatment that he believes is in a tooth's best
interest. Certain conditions found on teeth often result in
detrimental pathologies that result in tooth loss. It is
clear, that those elderly patients with a full compliment of teeth,
have often been those who followed their dentist's recommendations
over the years.
While dentistry is not inexpensive, it is certainly a good
value. Few other things we purchase last as long as dental
restorations and prosthetics--and we use our teeth constantly!
Average lifespan for a filling is 20 years, while an average
lifespan for a crown is even longer. Dentures are often used for
15 or 20 years. The up front cost of a crown, bridge,
filling or denture is expended over the lifespan of the restoration
or prosthesis. Over the lifespan, the restoration cost
pennies a day to have and use. In addition, consider other
service commodities, such as cosmetology, for instance. It is
not uncommon to pay $50 or more for a permanent or hair
coloring. This expenditure is for a service to the hair that
will typically last about 3 to 4 months at best. Compare that
to a $100 filling that will usually last 15 years or more.
The value is obvious.
Few things express health, vitality, youthfulness and beauty
than a full set of attractive, healthy, white teeth and fresh
breath. Your dentist can help you maintain and create that