We are all expecting to live longer ; 90 to 100 years will become common in economically developed countries . Most of us want to keep ALL our own teeth until we die; nobody wants dentures, nor multiple dental implants . We all want these teeth to remain healthy , functional and certainly attractive as long as we live – and we do not want to be paying out high dental treatment fees till we die either!
If anyone truly believes that the ‘State’ will continue to provide affordable dental care (NHS or equivalent) to achieve this, as a social right for individuals , they are living in ‘cloud cuckoo land’! As the government finds it harder and harder to fund a nationalised health service , with limited funds and an exploding population (more of us and living longer), it will have to prioritise and re-direct its resources. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that it is only a matter of time until there will be almost no money available for dentistry, and certainly not for relatively expensive reparative procedures. The subject is fraught with political implications, but the reality is that NHS dentistry will become more expensive, more limited, less effective and then finally will simply cease to exist!
But is this a bad thing? Will it have catastrophic consequences? No it will not. But why? Of all human diseases , dental diseases are almost entirely preventable and, in fact, easily so. Precious government health resources will need to be prioritised into life saving research and treatments , most obviously cancer and new infection control techniques and drugs.
So what about these teeth that we want to keep until we are a hundred years old? Preventative care is the answer. It really is that simple, and it is down to you and the choices you make to help keep your teeth for life. With the right healthy food diet, appropriate home dental hygiene techniques and good professional dental care; dental decay, root canal treatments , gum disease , loss of teeth and ugly smiles can, in the main, be almost entirely prevented .
People will need to depend on some form of Private Dentistry in the future to give them the educational , and preventative care tools to look after their teeth. Dental insurance companies will never provide the same level of cover as medical ones do , mainly because dental disease is so predictable in most people; it is almost always a ‘pre-existing’ condition. More people will have to get used to the idea that they will need to pay for dental health maintenance , much as they need to pay for servicing their car.
Quite simply , being frugal with spending money on quality dental care, and being neglectful of one’s dental health, function and appearance will cost a lot more in an individual’s years to come; not just in money ,but in time, energy and emotion!
Like in everything , ‘you get what you pay for ‘. It is the individual adult’s (or parents’) responsibility to maintain their own and their children’s dental health, longevity and appearance and to find, evaluate and utilise a dental professional to help achieve those aims. It will cost, it has to; but with the right attitude, taking responsibility and the right professional support it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Too many people faced with expensive and extensive dental treatment blame dentistry for being too expensive! If you want to keep your teeth for life, spending money on preventative care, will not only help you achieve this aim, but it will cost a lot less in the long run!