Dentistry has gone through many stages over the centuries always looking to better rehabilitation and esthetics. These have been the emphasis over the years. In my opinion dentistry’s best moment is right now. We now have very advanced materials to work with and many solutions are being found. For example for the first time in history we can put titanium dental implants in Cancun and they are osseointegrated in a couple of months after that. What does this mean? We are installing dental implants and saying “even though there wasn’t a tooth here, it doesn’t matter, we are putting an implant and it will work like a normal tooth, it will be capable of chewing again.” It is a great moment in the bionic age where we now are giving functionality and esthetics back to the patient who had lost teeth.
Let’s talk about esthetics a moment. What happens? There are wonderful dental ceramics nowadays. There are zirconium pieces, there are high esthetic ceramics, and a good dentist we can mimic the original. We can copy the original teeth as far as color, size and shape. This is amazing! Something that is happening for the first time in history… Esthetics has advanced so much. If you have developed yellow or gray teeth or if some of them broke or if you just don’t like your teeth, they can be changed. This had never happened before.
Like some of the stories about George Washington wanting g dentures, making them out of ivory, that is elephant tusk, or wood, or even out of human teeth. Can you imagine his desperation? Like “I am the president of the United States, I don’t care what they are made of, I just want teeth.” What he would have given to have had some sort of treatment to have implants so if you think about it that’s why today’s dentistry is so wonderful. Unfortunately some patients don’t see it that way. They think it’s all just normal, that it is the dentist’s obligation, that it is the manufacturer’s obligation… Like “Why aren’t porcelain pieces guarantied when they break?” It’s because you chew too hard and you ruined your teeth, so now what do you expect with these new ones made out of this material? Sure it is strong material. It’s ceramic, it is glass fused at a high temperature. But it is still glass and is somewhat fragile compared to the original and if you bite something sharp it could cause it to break.
In this moment of dentistry where you can walk in, they put on a little topical anesthesia first, and then give you a shot which only puts the wanted area to sleep. Then they perform the procedure, you get up, you can walk out of there, go to work, go home. We are not getting it folks, we take it for granted. We seem to think this is all normal when in reality anesthesia used to be a big problem, because they either got the patient drunk or put him to sleep even risking death. Now they can monitor you, so then what? Now with just a little bit of anesthesia they can work on you. This is a great moment that we are not appreciating, it’s amazing how we don’t look back, it seems like human beings just don’t have memories, sadly, some folks just don’t realize that this is such an awesome moment! First we complained because fillings were metal, then because there had mercury (even if they are supposed to be safe now). But they sure did work and many people didn’t have to have their teeth pulled! Less than 50 years ago if you had a tooth ache they just pulled out that tooth. It was like pull it and goodbye forever, but now it can be fixed. Before it was an extraction, then came the root canal, where a nerve is removed, then gutta-percha is applied, gutta-percha being organic coming from trees, how amazing that this can be used for your health.
On the other hand it does bother me that folks just don’t get it, they don’t see the great moment of medicine we are in. there are great doctors, great procedures and we just have to see how much medicine advances on a daily basis. Laser, ultrasound… everything that is happening concerning medicine is incredible. Even better yet, those of us that never saw such things are seeing them now and we know there is more to come. We are marveled by all this! I do hope that more patients will see this someday and understand that we are medics, not magicians. We can treat but not do miracles! Thank you!