Dental Fitness 101
One thing I think we pride ourselves on in our dental office is our focus on preventive care. The reality is that whether you go to a dentist or not is NOT going to be the primary indicator of whether or not you keep your teeth in your mouth the rest of your life. Now that is real Taboo coming from a dentist! Go look in the mirror above your bathroom sink and repeat the following: ONLY YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR OWN DISEASE. The truth is dentists and your dental hygienists really are your coaches and advocates for helping you get as healthy as you want to be, but we cannot do it for you. Unless you want to come into your dental office every day for 365 days out of the year. By the way, we are not open on weekends.
What you eat, drink and how you take care of your mouth outside the walls of your dental office will make all the difference in whether your teeth remain in your mouth or end up in a jar. We use a dental fitness program called structured chart to record and calculate how well you are doing at preventing disease in your mouth. Similar to the spirits in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, we look at the past, the present, and the future to see where your gum tissue health was, is, and where it is headed based on a few different factors. We look at prevention in three different ways. We look at Primary prevention, which is avoiding future disease. We look at secondary prevention, which is stopping current disease. Finally, we look at and treat tertiary prevention, which is fixing the damage that has occurred already. Most dental offices focus only on the tertiary care because that is where the office gets paid. Yes, that is right. We do not get paid to help you prevent future disease. We only get paid to fix damage from disease that has already occurred. Sadly, the model in this country is set up for disease care. The neat thing about the fitness program is that it tells us where you are now, in terms of current tissue health. Where you have been in terms of past disease and tissue damage that may have occurred and finally where you are headed based on future risk of disease.
The three factors we measure are:
1. Gum tissue pocket depths- this tells us if any damage has already occurred.
2. Sites that bleed when measured (Red dots)- this tells us if there is any active disease.
The gums should not bleed when brushed or flossed or measured properly, period!
If they do there is active disease occurring.
3. Plaque levels on the teeth (Blue dots)- this tells us future disease potential- the more plaque is on the teeth the greater the risk of cavities, gum disease and inevitably tooth loss.
Get In The Zone
We usually record and track these indicators and use them as a guide to help our patients in their home care regimens. I have often heard that you cannot improve something that you are not measuring. So, it is with your dental health. We now have a tangible way to measure this each and every time you come into the dental office, if you are interested. I have worked in a number of dental offices and I honestly do not know of many, maybe 3% that take the time to look at this. This information helps us tremendously in working with you and your goals you desire for your mouth. We track the numbers by percentages and can put your scores in categories to indicate whether you still are in the active disease zone, the marginal disease zone or the dental fitness zone. If your scores fall into the dental fitness zone and you can maintain them, we can guarantee that you will not lose your teeth to tooth decay or gum disease. The truth is that everyone wants little to no dentistry or dental treatment. We can show you how you can get there! You can save your money on all that expensive dental treatment and you can take that to the bank!
Contact Us Today!
Dr. Jonathan Bechtel and our Lansing, Michigan dental team are committed to providing exceptional care and empowering our patients with information about their dental health. If you have any questions about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, we invite you to give us a call at 517-882-7132. The outstanding experience of our Dentist Dr. Bechtel, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating oral problems in our patients who visit us from different parts of Lansing, Holt, Okemos, and Mason Michigan.