I can understand and do empathized with the flight of many on how we can manage our small budget and still be able to include the expense we need to maintain our Oral Health. I also know that health care as whole is becoming more of a business rather than providing true service to the public. However, as we delegate our oral health in the back burner and opt to self-treatment when we can, there are Critical Treatments we Can’t simply do Without a Dentist and Risk YOUR General Health and Safety in the process.
I. Your Orthodontic Treatment
This is probably one of the most expensive dental treatments, thus, a lot of people just allow their maligned and maloccluded dentition deteriorate. As long as they can eat and there’s no pain, many don’t prioritized in correcting it. What we don’t understand is that our oral health is very much connected to our general health. Our bite and alignment of our teeth not only just affect our appearance but it also causes so many health issues such as back problems, migraine, ear problems, equilibrium and so many others. Thus, having an orthodontic treatment is a must if we have a problem in our bite and alignment.
Currently, dentists are concerned about this “Do It Yourself” Orthodontic Treatment that’s gaining popularity in the masses and even those who can probably save money to have an Orthodontic Treatment. This is a very dangerous way of doing it to yourself. What people don’t understand is that Orthodontic Treatment is not just concerned with making you look good by aligning your teeth. Aligning your teeth is not as easy as it sounds because it involves a lot of factors to be considered. All these factors can affect your over-all oral health and eventually your general health.
The “Do It Yourself” Braces that’s being sold via mail and promoted on social media like Facebook and YouTube is something you need to AVOID AT ALL COST. There are even suggestions on how you can do it for free such as using floss to tie up around the teeth to close the gap and wear a minimum of 8 hours everyday for unknown number of years to lessen the space between 2 teeth.
These are all harmful to your well being. Why do I say so? I am a dentist but I am not an Orthodontist, so, I don’t do Orthodontic treatment in my dental practice. Why? Because even if I have the basic training in Dentistry, Orthodontics is a specialized field wherein a dentist needs to study 2-4 more years to be one. And, trying to self-study is not a way to go for dentists like me to endanger our patients in doing something that we are not well-equipped to do so. Therefore, imagine yourself doing it without even the slightest background of what it truly entails except following videos of these charlatans trying to encourage you that it is that easy. So, here are just some of the Following Oral Health Issues and Detrimental Complications that may occur if you still do this without the aid of your dentist:
(1) Bone destruction
(2) Gum problems such as gingival inflammation
(3) TMJ Disorder (the joints that connects your upper and lower jaw)
(4) Tilting of your teeth
(5) Cross Bite or Distortion of your Bite
(6) Increase On Caries or Tooth Decay
(7) Tooth Destruction such as Abrasion and Erosion of your Enamel
(8) Creation of uneven gaps between your teeth
(9) Tooth Avulsion or Unintended Tooth Extraction
(10) Erroneous Tooth Lengthening
All of these side-effects I’ve mentioned will even lead to a more serious health conditions and this is something you shouldn’t play with. Do not assume that dentists are just discouraging you because we are just being territorial in our profession and our means to earn. We are health providers first and foremost and I believe majority of Dentists do take into their hearts to give the best care to their patients before their financial considerations. If the concern is cost on your part, then, there are a lot dentists who do provide easy payments. “Do It Yourself” Braces is not a way to go. Choose the Right Orthodontist with the Right Credentials and have your problem Treated by a Certified Orthodontist. In the end, it will be worth it.
II. Tooth Extraction
I hope gone are the days when our parents or grandparents will tie up our tooth with a thread unto to a door knob and extracting the tooth by slamming that door. This is not a way to go to extract a moving tooth, not before, not now and not ever. Even if the tooth is mobile, extracting it on your own by forcing the tooth to totally be removed out of its socket is very dangerous unless it naturally pops out in case of milk teeth when the permanent teeth pushing it upward. Extracting a tooth is not simply pulling it out. It is not only painful without anesthesia but this can also result to unintended removal of unnecessary bone that’s not supposed to be damaged. For example, in your Canine or Cuspid. Your canine is placed in a tooth socket with bone supporting it with integral prominence that supports your lips. This plays an important role in creating good facial and smile esthetics, since they are positioned at the corners of the dental arch, forming the canine eminence for support of the alar base and the upper lip. If this bone is damaged, this can result to depression on that area and even if there’s bridge replacement or denture placed, in time the patient will look older than he or she is. Affecting your appearance is not the only complications that may arise if you extract your tooth by yourself or have someone do it for you like quack doctors or even unlicensed dentists. Here are Some of the Untoward Complications:
(2) Prolonged Bleeding
(4) Sinus Exposure
(5) Nerve Injury
(6) Displacement of the Tooth
(7) Dry Socket
(8) Alveolar Osteitis or Painful Inflammation within the Empty Tooth Socket
(9) Jaw Fracture
(10) Extreme Pain
These complications may also occur in the dental office with a professional dentist at hand, however, dentists are trained to attend to these complications immediately IF it does occur. So, just imagine the higher probability of these occurring to you if you do it yourself or have a quack doctor do it for you. It is truly not worth the risk.
I know there are so many articles already in the internet and even guides on how you can self-medicate. However, reading articles are not the same thing as understanding the pharmacological effect and complications that medicines can cause you if you erroneously self-medicate yourself. Even as benign as taking a pain reliever can cause you harm if you don’t have an idea of your current medical status such as allergies. There are also cases wherein medicines can’t be taken at the same time with another medicine as this will cause you more harm than good. The medicines we take are primarily process either by our kidney or liver and improper use of medicines can result to irreparable damage to these organs and may even lead to eventual death. In our country, prescribed medicines are so accessible even without a doctor’s or dentist’s prescriptions, hence, the statistics of doing self-medication is very high. The bad effects of doing this may not be immediately apparent and may not even be discovered as the cause of the eventual illness because some complications arise at a later date or due to cumulative effect of years on doing self-medication. It may sound harmless but its complications may even be detrimental to our own life. Here are Some of the Complications that May Arise in Self-Medication:
(1) Allergic Reactions like swelling of lips, face, and tongue
(2) Can cause Ulcers and Bleeding in the Stomach.
(3) Can cause Acidity, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation, Dizziness, Rashes, and Headaches.
(4) Boost blood pressure and can counteract the effect of some blood pressure medicines. May also cause Cardiac Failure.
(5) Cause Kidney Problems.
(6) Vaginal Infection in women caused by growth of fungus due to suppression of ‘good bacteria’.
(7) Dizziness, Blurred Vision, Drowsiness
(8) Ringing in the Ears
(9) Dryness in the Mouth
(10) Restlessness, Confusion and a Reduced Concentration.
Although, you may think that self-medication is one of the best way to save money rather than visiting your dentist to address your problem, in truth, it is really not. The reason behind your symptoms needs to be diagnosed properly, so, the right medicine will be provided for you or even solve the main cause so that you need not be dependent on taking medicines since the main problem is already taken out of the picture. It is really true that an “Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure.”
IV. Tooth Whitening
Like Self-Medication, we all feel that doing tooth whitening by yourself is relatively safe. To some extent it is true because the complications may not be as detrimental as the 3 other treatments mentioned above, but, nonetheless it has complications that may lead to serious situations and further damage to your teeth. There are indeed acceptable over-the-counter tooth whitening materials, toothpastes, mouthwash and even natural alternative means to do Tooth Whitening, however, not visiting your dentist prior to the application of “Do It Yourself” whitening process may lead to tooth damage and other complications.
We need to understand and accept the fact that Tooth Whitening is a dental treatment and its application like any other medicines require full knowledge of your current oral health status and even general health. General Dental Check-up, Cleaning and Sound Dental Professional Guidance can only come from your dentist. So, BEFORE doing it yourself the Tooth Whitening Application you really need to visit your dentists first. For better understanding of Tooth Whitening and what you can expect from it- CLICK THIS.
Here are Some Complications that may arise to Erroneous Application of Tooth Whitening Materials:
(1) Sever Cough
(2) High Level of Tooth Sensitivity or Pain
(3) Abrasion and Erosion of Enamel of the Tooth
(4) Gingival Irritation
(5) TMJ dysfunction
(6) Pulpal Damage
(7) Allergic Reactions
(8) Increase Sensitivity to Cold and Hot beverages
(9) Probable Unknown Side-Effect to Pregnant and Lactating Mothers
(10) Accidental Chemical Poisoning
The Side-Effects of Tooth Whitening can ONLY happen if the user is NOT following the instruction of the material being used and when the health condition of the user is not ideal for the treatment. What is good about the complications arising from Tooth Whitening is that almost all of them are reversible and some are even self-limiting in its effect. However, this doesn’t lessen the importance of you visiting your dentist first prior to applying any “Do It Yourself” Tooth Whitening materials. It is always best to get good dental advice and check-up before doing it on your own.
As a dentist, our priority is your safety. And, whatever issues you may have to hesitate to visit one, just think first of how much is your worth. Taking care of yourself especially when it comes to your health is a good indicator of how much you value yourself. If the money you get to save is higher in value than the safety of your well-being, then, I guess, you don’t really need a dentist. Because taking care of yourself is the one thing “Do It Yourself” can be acceptable.
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