Thursday, January 19, 2006

Who are 'they'??!?

It never fails to amuse me that a lot patients who come in each day try to justify their reluctance to have their teeth cleaned (aka scaling or oral prophylaxis etc.) by saying that 'they' say cleaning teeth makes their teeth wear out faster.

Well, so can brushing your teeth, dear. Or drinking Coke every day. Or mixing ash with your toothpaste (as some Indians do).

When I then ask these patients who 'they' are, they are stumped for an answer and then sheepishly say that it was their neighbour, or their grandmother or their seamstress etc; none of whom happen to be qualified dentists or dental hygienists. But, these patients would explain the reason they say so is because these people have also have had their teeth cleaned, and therefore would be 'qualified' to dispense such advice.

Hmmm....Ok.... So say my car has a breakdown one day and I have to send it to my mechanic for repairs. Would I then be 'qualified' to dispense advice on what kind of repairs are necessary to any of my friends who have the same misfortune in the future? In other words, would you seek the opinions of a person who owns a car or a mechanic when it comes to auto repair?

To be fair, going for scaling too often (as in everyday) may cause more harm than good, but then again, if you breathe 100% Oxygen, it will also kill you. Does that mean we should avoid breathing O2 altogether?

See my point?

So, moral of today's story is: Do everything in moderation, listen to advice from qualified sources and not every dentist is out to fleece you.

P.S. Sorrylah, just need to release tension a bit.... Today's patients a bit trying on the nerves.