Are we truly upholding our end of the commitment to patients or are we failing them and falling short? All I can say is that in my case, I previously found it challenging to live up to the oath of the dental profession.
Failing Our Profession: What Really Causes Loss of Tooth Structure?
I graduated dental school with what I felt was a good amount of knowledge on what I believed at the time to be the biggest problems I would be treating on a daily basis. And what I mean by that is I had a lot of knowledge on bugs and biology.
I considered myself the oral cavity exterminator. I was going to save the world one tooth at a time by slowly but surely removing all the bugs from my patients’ mouths. But after seeing thousands of patients, and starting Clinical Mastery, my mind started to change. Bugs weren’t my biggest problem!
I don’t have the exact data, but after 12 years of private practice I don’t believe bugs or tooth decay are what leads to the greatest amount of lost tooth structure. At this moment in time I 100% believe that the greatest reason for loss of tooth structure, the one thing I agreed to fight to prevent while taking the Dental Hippocratic Oath, is caused by occlusal disease.
Is Occlusal Disease the Reason We’re Failing?
What do I also now believe to be the most confusing and misunderstood topic in dentistry after visiting with thousands of dentists? Occlusal disease! So the #1 destroyer of tooth structure is also the #1 most misunderstood topic in our profession?
If that’s the case, for a long time I haven’t been keeping my end of the bargain. Man, I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sit very well with me. I don’t take it lightly when I give my word and I am a firm believer in sticking by it …
Check out Dr. Gary’s final thoughts on the importance of occlusion in Part 3 coming soon!