Dentistry isn’t about teeth, it is about people.
Most dentists are too busy showing off how fancy the treatments they can provide are, or what latest gadgets they have to play with on your teeth, but seem to miss the point that teeth are attached to people. That is why on this website you won’t find that many photos of the treatment we have done for people. What I do on other people doesn’t matter. What I need to do first is gain your trust and confidence, then you can relax. When you have relaxed, you will make the best decisions for your oral health and learn more about what is best for you. Dentistry and fear have been synonymous for far too long.
Having previously worked in the NHS dental service for over 12 years, where daily I was providing dental treatment to patients who didn’t have a clue what I was doing, what was in their best interests and why they needed treatment and how they could avoid it, I came to the conclusion there had to be a better way. The systems dentists were working in under the various NHS regulations failed miserably to address dental education, encouraged the extraction of teeth as the first treatment of choice and never seemed to educate the patient how to improve their dental health. Frankly it felt like working on a never ending conveyor belt of misery in a war zone. It was time to quit or change.
What I want for all our patients is to feel that they are valued and are active participants in their treatment. By actively getting involved with your treatment you can start to feel more in control of your treatment. To get involved, you need some help with the decision making and this is where we try to educate you to know what your problems are, how they are caused and what you can do about them.
I often say to patients that I have very little input into their dental health. I get a lot of puzzled looks coming back at me after this, but if you think about it and hopefully if everything is going to plan, I will only be seeing you a few times in a year. You will be brushing your teeth twice a day for 365 days, you will be deciding on what to eat and you will be making the decisions on whether you are going to floss that morning or not. Therefore you have a far greater input than me into your dental health. We will be there to advise and guide you on the way, but you have the control over the outcome depending on what you do.
The causes of most dental problems – decay, gum disease, have been known for over 30 – 40 years. Dentists have known how to treat them for about the same length of time as well, so why are children still getting fillings, most people in the UK have some form of gum disease and teeth are still being extracted? Education or a lack of it to be precise.
I see my role as a dentist to be an educator and not a driller and filler. If you need a filling through getting new decay, then I feel that I have failed to educate you correctly. I have come to realise over the years that even though I can lead the horse to water, I can’t make it drink, so I still find it frustrating that we try and help patients to avoid dental treatment and they seem to ignore what we suggest they do, falling back into the belief that they have no influence on their dental health and it is all the responsibility of the dentist only.
The best dentistry is no dentistry at all and that is what I endeavour to achieve every day. I don’t want any of the people under my care to need dental treatment. I want them to know how to look after their own mouth. Some may see this as unrealistic and a bit of a pipe dream, but I believe it can be done.
But just imagine it, no fillings, crowns, no expensive bills and no fear about your visit. It can be done, together as a partnership. Lets prove the doubters wrong.
This is how we put a smile on your face and with our help it will stay there.
Nick Davison – Practice Owner