When was the last time that you read about the exciting field of dentistry in the news? It is not something that is covered that often, and yet some of the most ground breaking and astonishing advancements that we have seen in modern times are being made in that field and in that field in particular – something that most of us are completely unaware of. Perhaps it is because there are so many people out there who are frightened of the dentist, and perhaps it is because it is often difficult to get a journalist interested in a story when there is no ‘scandal’, but for many years now dentists and others within the dental field have almost been abandoned by the mainstream media.
When talking to Dr Paige Woods, a dentist with her finger on the pulse of news within the dentistry world (she has a top rated dental practice in San Diego), she was able to talk at length and in great detail about all of the exciting modern changes that she has been able to make in the last few months to her own dentist practice, all thanks to the modern changes that are not widely known. In her opinion, the two biggest areas within dentistry that have gained the most from the research that is being carried out is within prevention and diagnostics.
Prevention is better than cure: it’s a time honoured saying for a reason, and that is because it is incredibly true! From Dr Woods’ point of view, it is far better for her patients to prevent any dental problems from happening, and then only having to come and visit her once a year for a check up, than for them to ignore potential problems and warning signs! That is why Dr Woods works so hard on educating her patients, and helping them to understand exactly what the consequences of their actions are when it comes to eating sugary sweets, acidic food, smoking, and drinking large amounts of coffee, tea, or red wine.
Dr Woods has also been able to use preventative medicine to help treat potential problems very quickly, before they can completely overrun a patient’s mouth and start to cause them real difficulties. One of the largest areas for this is gum disease, which can start very slowly and creep up on a patient without them really realising, and often when they start to notice the symptoms, then it is too late – and a long road of continuous treatment is ahead of them. By visiting Dr Woods regularly however, a patient can easily prevent this happening by getting an expert’s opinion on the health of their teeth.
At the other end of the scale are the diagnostic tools. When there are no warning signs and no practical ways that a patient could ever have known that there was a problem, there are an absolute plethora of new gadgets are able to detect, without any sort of incision or cracking, whether there is any decay within a tooth. It is this sort of technology that greatly helps Dr Woods with her day to day appointments. She is even able to use computer software modelling to be able to predict what will happen if a dental problem is left untreated – an excellent way to encourage a patient to accept treatment!
In time, Dr Woods expects more and more preventative and diagnostic methods to be created, tested, and tried eventually within the daily lives of dentists up and down the country, greatly improving the lives of many around the world that trust their dentists with their health – and it is something that we should be hearing more of in the news, with any luck!