What is Preventative Dentistry and Does it Help Your Oral Health?
Over the last 30 years we have witnessed an incredible shift in health care approaches … For generations, medical care was viewed in a standard chronological order: You get sick, you go to the doctor, the doctor gives you medicine, and you then take the medicine until you are healthy again. However, as our understanding of the human body has expanded, many doctors – across fields – are questioning the efficacy of this method.
This doubt has led to a mind-boggling amount of “alternative treatments” being developed and marketed to the public. Some of these treatments are, objectively, scams that are designed to play off of people’s fears and ignorance while offering no defined benefits. However, a select few of these new practices have been lauded by medical professionals and private consumers alike. These new methods, which actually deliver on their claims, are lifted from the realm of “alternative treatments” … Away from the quackery of homeopathy and “natural male enhancement” products; and are reborn as “preventative medicine”, sitting side by side with more conventional treatments.
According to Dr. E.A. Clark, Preventative Medicine “Includes all measures which limit progression of disease at any stage of its course.” The US National Library of Medicine, in their official statement, goes on to say that “The aim of preventive medicine is the absence of disease, either by preventing the occurrence of a disease or by halting a disease and averting resulting complications after its onset. Preventive medicine can be practiced by governmental agencies, primary care physicians and the individual.”
The idea of “prevention” being the front-line of defense in your fight against disease is gaining momentum quickly and has given rise to more specific movements within medical specialties. In dentistry, you will often hear doctors discussing the oral-systemic connection. The oral-systemic connection in dentistry is another form of the preventative medicine practiced in other health fields.
“Systemic” is defined by the dictionary as something “relating to a system as opposed to a particular part”. So, the oral-systemic connection basically means that in order to treat the mouth, you must treat the entire body. This translates to doctors advocating preventative measures that will stop common oral diseases before they can gain a foothold in your mouth.
Preventative medicine, or oral-systemic treatments, can take many forms. However the goal is always the same: strengthen the entire body so it can fight off disease naturally; limiting your exposure to the illness as well as its severity. For the patient, this can mean anything from taking medical-grade nutritional supplements (nutraceuticals) all the way to adjusting your diet, exercise, or hygiene habits.
This methodology does require more discipline on the part of the patient. You must follow the doctor’s orders to the letter, every day; because the power of preventative medical treatments lies in its repetition rather than the dosage of an individual pill. However, it has also been found to be very effective. Patients who use conventional medicine in conjunction with preventative dental treatments get sick less often, heal more quickly, and experience far less discomfort while battling their condition. Not only does this save the patient from a potentially agonizing healing process, but it also saves them a great deal of money further down the road.
Furthermore, let us not forget that we are currently seeing one of the largest drug epidemics in our countries history. Deaths due to an overdose of pain-killers are at an all-time high. Abuse of most opiate pain medication usually starts when they are prescribed by a physician to treat a very real condition. Due to their addictive nature and a reputation to eliminate pain quickly, it only stands to reason that many people get hooked. However, with a focus on prevention, patients can now reduce (or eliminate) the need to take pain medication, or at least limit its necessity.
Although preventative medicine and oral-systemic treatments are rapidly gaining advocates, these movements are still in their infancy. So doctors who subscribe to this new ideology can be hard to find. Dr. Ronald Schefdore DMD of Your Celebrity Smiles & General Dentistry, however, is one of the few practitioners in Illinois that actively encourages prevention and supports the oral-systemic approach to dentistry. Neither he nor his patients could be more pleased with the results they have experienced, and his novel approach has become one of the leading reasons why he is the most esteemed dentist in Westmont Illinois.
If you are interested in more information about oral health and preventative dentistry, or just need a regular general dentist in the Chicago area, we strongly urge you to contact Celebrity Smiles & General Dentistry as soon as possible. We are the premier dental health provider in Westmont, Oakbrook, Chicago, and beyond!
* Doctor Ronald Schefdore DMD is a licensed general dentist. *