For the longest time, we believed failing the dental profession meant not preventing cavities. Now, it seems this may not be the case, especially as the role of occlusal disease in loss of tooth structure becomes more evident.
Let me be the first to say it out loud in hopes that others will feel safe in joining me knowing they are not alone. OCCLUSION CAN BE HARD AND COMPLICATED! Whew, I feel better. Let me also say my belief is that it is our duty to our profession and to our patients to figure it out.
If we can all agree occlusal disease is a major problem and admit that maybe we have not held up our end of the bargain in making our #1 interest the same as our patient’s #1 interest, then and only then can we start to turn the ship around.
The Dental Profession & Occlusion: A Challenge to Uphold Our End of the Bargain
I hear the arguments and excuses: Patients cannot afford treatment, patients are just not interested in doing what is necessary, or the patient population and demographic is just different, etc. Trust me, I get it. I practice every day in the statistically proven poorest, unhealthiest, least educated, highest existing medical debt state in the country.
But here is my challenge to myself and to others. Maybe we have not held up our end of the bargain for this generation. Let’s not make the same mistake for the next generation. Let’s all agree to continue to educate ourselves on this topic so that we can better help the next generation before it’s too late.
Can we all agree that prevention is the best method? That occlusal disease does not happen overnight? Have you ever had a patient in your chair say, “No dentist has ever told me that before,” as you are describing their occlusal disease?
Let’s do better for the next generation and leave this profession better than we found it.
How do you ensure lasting health for your patients? We’d love to hear from you!