Dental neglect

In cases where patients have not taken care of their teeth for years and/or have unfortunately had inadequate dentistry, major dental treatment is often required. Why does this still happen?

dentalNeglect

Dental health in the UK is generally improving and incidents of serious dental neglect are getting rarer. However occasionally dentists such as us in the City of London EC4 still come across situations where there is major damage, caused through lack of awareness or lack of willingness to act.

Decay will always spread

If you don’t catch and remove dental decay, it will spread sidewards (to the natural crown structure) and downwards (to the tooth nerves and roots), destroying everything in its way. Acute toothache is most likely to mean that the tooth’s nerves have now been affected. The only solution is then root canal treatment, leaving a dead tooth that must be covered by an artificial crown.

If decay is allows to ‘generalize’ and spreads to many teeth, some will be lost and then bridgework and/or implants will be needed. Generalized gum disease may involve extensive gum surgery – as well as the sad cycle of tooth loss, bridgework and/or implants. Nobody should get to the point of needing dentures today or in the future.

You must catch the problem early

In dentistry, like in so many other fields, prevention is better than cure. In cases of severe dental neglect the amount of restorative work can be enormous – extractions, root canal treatments, crown and bridgework and implants. These are extensive, time-consuming and expensive treatments.

As caring dentists in our City of London EC4 practice, we strongly encourage our patients to have regular dental check-ups and dental cleaning rather than undergo the process of reversing the damage of prolonged dental neglect.

One question is particularly relevant: “How many routine dental care visits could I have had for the same price as this one large dental treatment”?

 

Remember that no amount of excellent dentistry can improve on nature itself. Good dentists can come close, but it’s always a compromise. Moreover, it’s always more difficult to maintain even a perfectly ‘restored’ tooth than one that was never damaged in the first place.

So our motto is simple: “Do whatever it takes to look after your teeth and they will look after you”.

Find out more about:

Oral hygiene and gum disease

Failed dentistry