Why did you choose to be a dentist?
I wanted to help people with their smile and help them feel good about themselves. Dentistry blends together art and science. Also, dental school required a shorter period of training and I was able to immediately enter a dental practice without residency upon graduation.
What are the pros and cons of being a dentist?
Cons: (1) The biggest con is dealing with nervous patients. Nobody wants to come to the dentist. The first thing that someone says is “I don’t want to come to the dentist.” That is not something someone wants to hear. (2) Another con is working in the mouth all day particularly because it’s so small. I have daily battles with tongues and cheeks. Also, it causes back pain from bending over all day. (3) It is stressful because you have to play so many roles: psychiatrist, dentist, doctor, pharmacist, and financial advisor. Hearing the life stories can be a bit much sometimes.
Pros: (1) It is rewarding when patients are grateful and appreciative of my service or because of their transformation. (2) It is financially rewarding because you get to be your own boss. You can set your own schedule so you can have a life outside of work. The schedule is better than a doctor’s schedule because you are not on call. (3) Another pro is job security, people are always going to need a dentist at some point.
What is the most common misconception that your patient’s have about oral health?
People assume that the dentist will try to sell you something that you don’t need just for money. Also, people don’t view teeth as important as other parts of your body until they are so damaged that you have to have them removed. There is a huge assumption that dentures is better than having your own teeth. Actually dentures are worse and I see patients more often when they have dentures.
Why are people so comfortable with having their teeth pulled?
You will be surprised how many people think it’s easier to have dentures than your natural teeth. When in actuality it is more uncomfortable because your mouth has to adjust to them. You have to learn how to eat and speak with the dentures as well which can be a hassle.
Why is it important to have your teeth cleaned?
It removes plaque and calculus that you may not be able to access at home. Such as plaque that is below the gum line. You can develop periodontal disease which is the number one cause of tooth loss not tooth decay. Periodontal disease is a loss of bone, and the tooth starts to become mobile. It develops as a direct result of not flossing. Periodontal disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes, pre-term low birth weight, and erectile dysfunction. It is also contagious.
What foods are the worse for your teeth?
Sugar foods that are sticky, and acidic foods like soda and citrus fruits.
What is the most common bad habit that your patients have?
Drinking sugary drinks or sports drinks. Anything with a lot of sugar. Also, smoking is a bad habit.
What happens to your teeth over time due to sugar, acidic foods, and smoking?
Low pH in the mouth which means it is a very acidic environment. Sugar gives the bacteria in your mouth something to feed off. Also, the combination of a weak tooth (weak enamel) promotes the progression of decay.
What is the importance of Oral Health?
It can be a reflection of your overall health. A lot of the symptoms of a variety of diseases can first be seen in the mouth. For example: if someone is suffering from bulimia there will be erosion of the teeth due to digestive enzymes being in the mouth too frequently, and a dentist would typically know first before a general doctor. Also, people grind their teeth at night which flattens their teeth. The grinding is typically a result of stress.
What is the most important aspect of maintaining dental health?
At home care, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. It’s easier if you floss before you brush. Diet is also an important aspect. It’s not the amount of time that the sugar is in your mouth it’s the frequency. For example: if you drink a soda it’s worse to sip on it all day versus drinking it in 10 minutes. Also, visit your dentist one to two times a year.
I’m thankful that my neglect did not leave my mouth in disarray. Currently, I am sporting Invisalign and loving every minute of it. With time I learned that preventive care is always the better alternative.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless!