Preventing Unnecessary Dental Work

Visiting the dentist is hardly on anyone’s list of fun things to do but sometimes it is necessary. The dentist helps keep your mouth healthy and in good shape but some people may be squeamish about some of the procedures that they have to go through in the dentist office. Another reason people avoid the dentist because of fear of unnecessary dental procedures, like surgery. They are afraid of going for a routine visit only to be trapped into a surgery they do not need. However, going to the dentist armed with basic knowledge of what dental procedures can help in preventing unnecessary dental surgery.   Sometimes dentist request unnecessary work for negative reasons, like for their own personal monetary gain. In other situations, they may honestly believe that having the procedure done is in the best interest of the patient by treating the situation early. However, early treatment may not do anything to change the course of the problem. One way to help prevent unnecessary dental surgery is to find a dentist that complements your own goals for your dental treatment. Dentists are generally either aggressive or conservative in their treatment and it is up to the patient to determine which is best for them. Asking for references from family, friends and even other dental professionals can help you find the right dentist for you.   Being informed about dental practices is another way to work toward preventing unnecessary dental surgery. The dentist should be able to explain why the treatment has been recommended and should have no problems with the explanation. If any prescribed course of treatment makes you uneasy, ask the dentist why the treatment is needed, what exactly the treatment is and how it will work, what improvements it will make and any risks associated with the treatment. Ask the dentist if there are any other alternative forms of treatment and what could happen if no treatment is done. Also ask them which treatment they would choose if it was them.   When any treatment is prescribed by a dentist, they should be able to explain why the treatment is necessary and should also be able to show the patient where the problem is. If it is on the outside of the tooth they should point it out and if it is an interior issue they should be able to explain with diagrams or drawings. Going to the dentist prepared with questions can help prevent unnecessary dental surgery.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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