Wellness Care is about maintaining Wellness. Wellness Care is being proactive about ones health. Wellness Care involves identifying early signs of risk and disease and taking corrective action before larger problems develop. With the elimination of risk we prevent progression of disease.
Conversely, ignoring early signs of instability puts any system at risk. A little instability often results in more as time progresses. This is true for the Chewing System. For example,
· A little bit of decay often becomes a little bit more. Ignore it long enough and soon you need a crown, a root canal, or at worst and extraction.
· A little bit of wear often leads to more wear. Enough wear changes force dynamics on teeth so that they chip, fracture, become loose and/or move. TM joint and muscles may become affected. The lips loose support from the teeth and develop wrinkling.
· A little bleeding from the gums leads to more bleeding and inflammation from the growing biofilm. Next to develop is bone loss around the teeth, which is a sign of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease exposes the whole human being system to risk, such as cardiovascular and infected total joint replacements.
As previously stated, the cause of instability should be identified and eliminated. Decay repaired without regard for general health issues, as well such as diet, pH of saliva, or quality of home care, is not Wellness Care. It is disease care. Recurrence or progression is likely. Similarly, if wear is corrected without addressing the predisposing bite issues which have caused it, continued breakdown will occur. Further, periodontal disease elimination without implementing a system for ongoing monitoring and elimination of the harmful bacterial biomass likely will result in recurrence of infection.
The opposite of Wellness Care is Disease Care. Disease care is only concerned with correction of the problem not its cause. This is how most dentistry is practiced today. Treatment choices are made without patients being in control of their future. A third party payer may rob both the patient and dentist of being in control of their future by influencing their choices. Covered benefits are chosen solely for financial reasons.
These third party influenced decisions lead to a model of care called the Repair and Repeat Cycle of disease. It is an endless circular pathway, often leading to total breakdown of the chewing system.
Why choose Wellness Care with me? Here are some of the many benefits
· More conservative treatment- Preserve tooth structure
· Less chance for root canal
· Early treatment is often less expensive
· Treatment is not rushed- quality of care is increased
· Preserving a beautiful smile- look years younger
· Better support for lips-worn teeth allow collapse of the lips
· Loosing an aged look to teeth
· Better chewing ability
· Keep teeth for a lifetime, free of decay
· Reduce inflammation in the body
· Less bad breath- more healthy mouth and bacteria
· Better nutrition-understanding foods and drink that are harmful
· Brighter, whiter, youthful smile
· Healthy mouth correlates with less risk of cardiovascular disease
· Less chewing related headaches- Healthy TM joint
· Less sensitivity after fillings
· Less chance for crowns
· Longer lasting restorations- More stability
· Better understanding of oral health
· Be in control over future by having a plan
· Have a system to follow to maintain oral health yourself
· No selling, more patient goal oriented treatment-you are in control
· More confidence in face to face encounters- feel better about yourself
· More natural looking dentistry
Teeth are not isolated structures. They work within the chewing system, which is part of the digestive system, which is part of the total human being.
Evaluation of the system should include not only risk to its parts, but evaluation of function as a whole. It involves awareness that dental health and total health and wellness are related, the former being part of the latter. Moreover, either one can have an affect upon the other. My role as your dentist is to be a part of a team of professionals, all striving to maintain wellness.
It is essential that patient and dentist work together to understand each other to ensure the best outcomes. The dentist’s primary role is not only to explain physical findings, but, importantly, to listen and understand his or her patient, their needs and wants. This requires that an adequate amount of time be spent in all endeavors including, discovering and learning, teaching, interviewing, and understanding their patient.
Wellness Care is methodical, personal, detailed care. This is the care that I espouse. It requires more communication, teaching, and setting individual lifetime goals. Each patient should have the opportunity to establish his or her own goals. This is my reason to be here. This is my promise to you. Wellness Care.
Dr. Michael Manhard