Bruce C. McArthur, DDS
6565 West Jewell Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80232
My first video blog!
Do that thing you cannot do. Go out and do it today!
Many people think fluoride is just for kids… that once their permanent teeth are in, fluoride has no further benefits. Well, let’s play MythBusters here and debunk this misunderstanding!
Here is an easy way to think of some of the benefits fluoride can provide for all teeth, whether they are attached to adults or children:
Cavity reduction. This is probably the best known benefit of fluoride treatments.
Antimicrobial action. A fancy way of saying interfering with microorganisms which do your teeth harm!
Reinforcing enamel. By Remineralization of tooth structure, making it more resistant to decay (see “C” above)
Desensitizing teeth. Stronger teeth can be less sensitive teeth.
Fluoride is brought to an ideal concentration in most city water systems. This systemic fluoride intake is valuable, especially for developing teeth. The American Dental Association recommends additional fluoride treatments be applied to the teeth of people in medium to higher risk categories for dental decay. This includes people who have had new cavities or decay around old fillings within the last three years. If a person has not had either of those problems, maybe fluoride treatments can help them avoid them!
So in short, we see the value in fluoride treatments for all teeth! So… we now offer to CARD all adults!
I often get patients who ask me why can’t I “do it all?” The question usually comes after I refer someone to a specialist for a complicated root canal, extraction, gum treatment, etc. Why can’t I just do all the procedures in my office – why do they have to go someplace else?
Why do some surgeons specialize in hand surgery… or brain surgery? Why do some mechanics specialize in imported cars or domestic cars? The point of specializing is to do what you are best at, and by focusing on that procedure, you get even better at it!
General dentists are licensed to do any dental procedures… but they should only perform those procedures they feel competent doing. This usually translates into dentists doing what they enjoy the most, but that is because they are naturally better at it. So as the years go by, they refine techniques to do an ever better job of the procedures they do, and refer patients to specialists for some other procedures.
Specialists are dentists who have decided to focus on only one aspect of dentistry. They do only those procedures, and can develop an extra degree of expertise in those areas. So some specialize in surgery, some in gum treatments, some in root canal therapy, and so on.
Many general dentists, like me, will do many root canal treatments, but if a case presents one or more complicating factors, will refer that patient to an Endodontist (Root canal specialist). Some extractions may be done, but more complicated ones referred to an oral surgeon. What this does is make sure the specialists work hard! Ok, it also means they do mostly more difficult procedures, and they get very good at those more complex cases.
So if your dentist is referring you to a specialist, it is really in your very best interest. The specialist has the greatest expertise available in that area, and will often be able to do the procedure in less time than your general dentist. Let the specialist make it look easy!
On the way down the road to the clinic this morning I saw a member of the local church coming up to his house. He wanted me to take a picture of him with his house. I think my living room is bigger than his house!
We are apparently still needed because the crowds are still coming. We’ve kept very busy! As I brought one of my last patients back, I was told that she was the 100th patient visit for the day. That’s the most we’ve seen so far.
I had one young man who said he’d had two stainless steel crowns on his front teeth for five years. Could we take them off? I told him we could not be sure what was under those crowns – maybe something I could not fix here and he’d be worse off than before. He was willing to take that risk – so we took them off. Prayer works! His teeth were relatively intact, and with a little work he could smile without the stainless steel grille work for the first time in five years!
Last year we found a small boy with a cleft palate, which we cannot treat here. We set it up so he could have surgery in the city. Today we saw him – he looks great! The massive hole in the roof of his mouth is closed, and he will be able to grow like any little boy. Thanks again to all those whose donations make this sort of story possible!