The Results of Dental Health Nirvana
The ultimate goal of a dentist-patient relationship is for the dentist to use his utmost care, skill, and judgement to assess a patient’s clinical dental needs and to understand how the patient’s dental wants and desires affect their life. After that, it is possible to treat the patient’s needs and wants and desires according to a mutually agreed upon treatment plan.
Good teeth are the result of the treatment activities of this dentist-patient relationship, but it includes much more than just the teeth themselves. The desired outcomes of Dental Health Nirvana are:
- A happy patient with a great smile and well-functioning upper and lower dental arches, contacting and gliding in harmony in each of the 14 pairs of teeth.
- Any repairs or restorations made to the teeth are comfortable, durable and long-lasting.
- Supporting tissues of the teeth are healthy—not just in the mouth, but also contributing to the health of the entire body.
- The two TMJ’s are stable, and the muscles that control the movements of the jaw as it moves under the skull are relaxed.
- The issue of sleep-disordered breathing has been diagnosed and treated with an oral appliance, if appropriate. Sleep disordered breathing can interfere with one’s quality of life (or those intimate with that person). It is also a major cause of cardiac episodes that can end a life.
So, to achieve Dental Health Nirvana, Dr. Allman cannot just look at the teeth. or at your smile. or at that one tooth broke off two months ago and still doesn’t hurt. Dr. Allman must take a global view of what is happening in your mouth—and how what he sees contributes to problems that may be affecting other parts of your body. He also needs to see how your wants and desires for your mouth fit in to the overall picture of your own Dental Health Nirvana.