Ok I admit it! I have fillings, lots of them, a good few root treatments too and a handful of crowns. In fact there is little that I do to my patients that I have not been on the receiving end of myself at one time or another. Great for helping me to be an empathetic dentist but given a choice of all this or no treatment at all what do you thibk I woudl choose?
Despite all of this treatment in my mouth, I have not experienced any new tooth decay for at least 10 years…..so what do I know that most people don’t?

Here are my thoughts

First lets start with the old fashioned approach to dentistry, it goes something like this…..

At your check up the dentist finds tooth decay in your mouth –
so you have a filling.
At your next check up or the one after that there is more decay
and so another filling is done
and so it goes on, every so often
having filling after filling

So over a lifetime your ever increasing number of fillings that grow ever larger. Eventually teeth start to break and crowns or root fillings become necessary too.

It seems like you are never away from the dentist and that your teeth just don’t like you any more…..do you remember any of this from the past? I do!

Now lets look at the MODERN ALTERNATIVE = Preventive Dentistry

Your dentist knows that filling teeth IS NOT treating tooth decay.
They that a filling only treats the EFFECT of tooth decay.
Treating tooth decay actually means stopping the process that caused the hole in the first place
So instead he or she sets about finding out WHY you are getting tooth decay
Then helps you to sort this problem out
All this is done without a drill going anywhere near your teeth

A preventive or minimally invasive dentist might

  • analyse your diet,
  • examine a sample of plaque from your mouth under a microscope
  • test your saliva to find out if it is helping or hindering
  • ask a skilled dental hygienist to devise a killer home care routine for you
  • use a laser scanner to identify early decay

These are just some of the things that that I have befitted from personally and lead to our team being shortlisted as preventive practice of the year in 2007. The tests themselves do nothing but an experienced preventive dentist will use the information they provide to create a customised plan of action which can help you to eliminate the tooth decay process from your life. permanently

If you can stop the decay process, and it really is possible to do this without living like a Saint, then the amount of dental treatment that you need in future will be far far less. Now hands up anyone who actually likes having treatment done?……..

It sounds so simple and obvious but it is true.

Over the years our team have helped hundreds of nervous patients regain control of their dental health. They have been able to stop the decay process in their mouths and as a result have need far less treatment. That is the perfect outcome and that aim of preventive dentistry.

If there is no new decay happening then treating any pre existing problem becomes much less urgent and can be carried out at a pace that is comfortable and stress free to all concerned. it means one less thing to worry about.

Equally if you are considering investing in any cosmetic treatment wouldn’t you rather protect your investment by making sure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be before you start?

So if you would like any advice or help treating tooth decay why not start with our simple 4 point prevention plan on our web site. It’s not rocket science but as a starting point it will improve your chances of becoming decay free. Or better still drop our team a line with your question and they will be happy to oblige.

Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.