I’ve heard on more than one occasion a dentist say something akin to “I’m just a dentist”. Think about that – just a dentist. Aside from all the talk about oral-systemic links and references to the dentist as “physician of the mouth”, that phrase is ridiculous. It is also a little disheartening.
As I went for a walk with my dog this morning, I thought about this. At the simple core of the matter, dentists help us to take care of, preserve, and keep our teeth. The only “just” to that is… it’s just awesome! So here are a few major aspects of our lives that are affected by our teeth and therefore by our dentist friends:
- Eating. Without your teeth, eating becomes much more difficult. Sure it’s simple, but you can’t deny it. Healthy teeth are essential to eating, chewing, and therefore getting the right nutritional elements from a healthy, varied diet.
- Talking. Communicating with others is greatly influenced by teeth. This isn’t limited to just talking – singing, whispering, rapping, and screaming at the top of your lungs are all included.
- Smiling. Your smile is your “welcome” sign to the world. It’s one of a few ways to make that vital first impression.
- Facing the world. Teeth help to maintain the bone in the jaws. Lose your teeth, and you start to lose that bone. Over time, your visage changes. The world will never see you the same way again.
- Showing affection. OK, this may be an “off label” use, but who doesn’t enjoy a good nibble every now and then?
- Opening things. Again, another “off label” use, but at one time or another almost everyone has torn into some packaging with their teeth.
Sure, it’s not an exhaustive list, but these things are just important. I know there are others I’m surely missing. I look forward to hearing how important you think our teeth and dentists are.
You touched on teeth…I’d like to state how important I think dentists are.
Dentists diagnose and treat disease of the mouth.
Dentist restore teeth. (Teeth are organs, just like your heart, liver, spleen); Dentists are “Doctors of Dental Surgery”.
Dentists wear many professional hats…they are radiologists (they take dental x-rays, diagnose x-rays), dentists prescribe medications for various conditions of the head and neck.
Dentists work along side with physicians to pre-screen patients for diabetes, heart disease, even cancer with pre-screening exams.
Patients with decreased saliva flow might think this is normal, the dentist recognizes upon exam; notes no current medications are taken by patient; dentist refers patient to physician for additional screening. Physician reports to dentist findings of lupus. (Dentists play a VITAL role in our health care).
Dentists are compassionate, caring professionals. Their committment to clinical excellence and professional development supports me with the energy and desire to assist them in management and exceptional service.
Dentists are friends I visit everyday….
Patterson Dental – Indianapolis
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