In my 12 years of practice, the most common question I’m asked is “I just got this fixed a few years back, why hasn’t it lasted long enough?”
This question can have many answers, even something as simple as ‘You just went to a bad dentist previously” but let us just focus on one another aspect of it.
Dental Treatments Are Not Like Vaccines
Firstly, we need to understand that when one visits a dentist with a problem his sole aim is to alleviate your discomfort and restore your teeth closest to natural with the best of his ability and available resources. This implies that an artificial component has been incorporated into your body or a causative factor has been removed.
Every living component has its own lifespan and anything artificial requires maintenance for continued optimal function. What I have noticed is, an appointment with a dentist in India is easy to get so a patient drops in for a visit only in the eleventh hour. But once we fix the issue, they never feel that’s its necessary to go back to the dentist for a review.
Due to the regular wear and tear, things need to be repaired or replaced on time before they become irreparable. When a dentist sees a patient once in 5 years or only when it hurts or breaks, it is not possible to attend to problems which would have been smaller if they were attended to earlier.
Yes, we all do have our practice management software and front desk staff who will remind you about your pending reviews and periodic clean-ups. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to follow it up with a visit. After all, we get our cars and air-conditioners serviced periodically even if it works just fine. The same logic applies to your teeth and the prosthesis you have.
Remember the age old saying 'A stitch in time saves nine’? Like it or not the same thing translates as 'A stitch in time saves 9000 or 90,000‘ as far as dentistry is concerned. Make sure, you come in for a review whenever you are reminded to.