Friday, 12 August 2016 13:32
The Rising Cost of DentistryWritten by Aussie Mum Network
Taking care of our teeth is often being pushed down the list of priorities, but how important is it to our health? We spoke to Philips Sonicare Ambassador Dr Dunne who is the owner of Macquarie Street Centre about dental health.
What sort of health issues can arise for people as a result of tooth decay?
Untreated tooth decay can result in acute pain and infection and lead to general illness. Further, this may lead to nerve involvement and potential life threatening infections such as Ludwig's angina where the airway becomes obstructed secondary to cellulitis arising from the infection. Decay and subsequent abscess leads to breakdown and potential tooth loss, which has functional, dietary, aesthetic and potential psychological impacts.
Why are people going overseas to get dental care?
The choice for patients to receive dental care overseas is predominately a financial decision. There is a perception amongst the general public that dental care in Australia is expensive, and that comparable quality treatment can be sought in developing countries. However, that is a "product" rather than "service" type of thinking with regard to treatment... thinking that the quality of care is similar or the same no-matter where you seek treatment. it is not just a ‘crown’ or ‘implant’ that you are paying for; it is surgeon experience, material quality, laboratory support, hygiene and safety standards amongst other things. Whilst you may receive an outcome that ‘appears’ good initially – it will be months or years down the track that the true effects of your treatment will be apparent. Further, especially in more complex treatment situations, time is important and the "quick fix" approach of 2-3 weeks is a huge compromise where a treatment plan is devised to suit the travel/holiday time period, rather than what is best for the patient. More complex treatment especially requires monitoring and assessment... it is not just a "treat and forget"... and you need your practitioner to be there when things may go wrong or complications occur.... sadly we see many of these "Holiday travel patients" requiring extensive re-treatment following their holiday or a few years down the track.
Are people neglecting their teeth, due to financial concerns?
Prevention is better than cure, and people are succumbing to a false economy by holding off on important preventative care. Most dental issues present with pain quite late in the disease process – so you could have issues that could be treated more simply – and less expensively – if recognised and treated early.
How important is our oral health to our overall health?
Extremely important! Apart from the aesthetic, speech and functional aspects of tooth loss / neglect, dental issues such as decay and periodontal disease have been show to impact our general health including cardiovascular health, increase susceptibility to diabetes, and other chronic inflammatory based disease processes. We also know that patients who have had rheumatic fever have damage to their heart valves. Bacteria entering the blood stream via dental procedures without antibiotic cover or advanced infections, in these patients, can result in bacterial endocarditis with potentially lethal sequelae.
Last modified on Friday, 12 August 2016 13:43
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