Updated 17 January 2018

Being satisfied with your dental care

Dental problems range from simple to complex, and the earlier appropriate action is taken, the lower the likelihood of serious problems.

What is it about your teeth that you value the most? 

Do you want your teeth to look good?

Do you want to be able to easily and comfortably chew your food?

Do you want your teeth to function well in every respect?

How would you like your teeth to look in five, 10 or 15 years’ time?

Are you aware of the role prevention can play in the preservation of your teeth?

Fine dentistry is able to help you successfully accomplish your long-term dental goals.

Read: How sugar hurts your teeth

A dental examination will indicate if there are problems that don’t present with any pain, but need to be addressed to ensure good dental health in the long run.  

The following situations aren’t associated with any pain and may pass unnoticed: an overhanging margin; a leaking restoration; a failing root canal; a large defective amalgam or composite filling; a root treated tooth, a tooth that has not been crowned; early dental decay!

What are the long-term consequences of pain-free problems that are not dealt with?

  • An overhanging margin may lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque. The overhanging margin traps the plaque and is not cleaned with flossing. The long-term consequence is periodontal disease and bone loss.
  • A leaking restoration will end up as dental decay. If it is noticed in time the tooth can be saved with a simple restoration and will not require extensive and expensive work at a later stage.
  • A failing root canal can lead to the development of an abscess. Having regular X-rays can reveal invisible problems.
  • A root treated tooth must be appropriately restored to prevent possible tooth fracture. 
  • Dental decay should be nipped in the bud before symptoms like toothache appear. Decay will show up on X-rays.   

Don’t wait until a crisis erupts before seeking dental treatment. Along with the cause of the crisis there will likely be many other problems lurking in your mouth, needing attention.

Patients trust that their dentist will effectively maintain their teeth in good condition and prevent any unforeseen crises. A long-term plan, combined with regular visits to the dentist is essential. 

Read: A diet that prevents tooth decay 

In order to treat more advanced dental situations the help of appropriate specialists is needed. Examples of specialists are: prosthodontist, periodontist, orthodontist, and oral surgeon. Your dentist will refer you to one or more of these specialists when necessary.

It is likely that the prosthodontist will be the first specialist that you will visit because he is the one who will put together a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.  

Be aware that good dental treatment requires that the practitioner needs enough time to do good and thorough work. Your teeth should last until the day you die, so make sure yours do just that!  

Read more: 

Eat for good oral health 

Oral health and overall health 

Remineralisation promises pain-free tooth repair 


Ask the Expert

Oral health expert

Dr Imraan Hoosen qualified from the Medical University of South Africa in 1997. Together with his partner, Dr Hoosen now runs a group of dental practices around Johannesburg (Lesedi Private Hospital, Highlands North Medical Centre , Brenthurst Clinic, Parklane Clinic, Simmonds Street Medical and Dental Centre, Soni Medical Centre- Newclare). Dr Hoosen can be contacted on 011 933 4096.

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