Day 950 and Good Teeth

I’ve always quite liked dental hygiene. Twice daily brushing and flossing after every meal has always been one of those daily habits for me. I do not compromise on it. You’ve probably seen me with a toothpick after a meal. Taking care of my teeth is just engrained into my routine.

It would seem a lifetime of good habits pays off. I’ve only had a handful of cavities (I think two) and no issues with grinding, my gums, or other periodontal problems. My teeth have been so chill that when I was broke I went to the NYU dental school for care. I learned a lot and it was cheap.

I finally found myself a dentist in Montana and went in for an intake and a cleaning today. It has been about a year since my last dental visit. I came through with a clean bill of health. They took a bunch of X-rays and fancy imagery and nothing looks problematic. Flossing really does pay off it would seem. You should do it!

I am happy my teeth are in good shape but slightly pissed. You see last year a dentist in Boulder did her best to convince me that I needed a root canal. A lifetime of good dental health and I’m being pushed for oral surgery for a tooth that didn’t even hurt.

I said I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort so I wasn’t inclined to get surgery prophylactically. She seemed a bit pissed. She did her best to insist I go see an oral surgeon. I demurred. I did not want an additional medical issue that was voluntary.

Now a year later, a dentist with much more advanced equipment could not locate the issue and told me I’ve got nothing to worry about. Maybe she got it wrong? He couldn’t quite be sure what she saw as his imagery and X-rays didn’t show any issues. I had no sensitivity or nerve issues so it’s possible she got it wrong.

We have a tendency to believe credentialed professionals like doctors, dentists and lawyers. They must know right? I’d never have considered saying no to a root canal before last year but at the time I just didn’t feel like I could handle an invasive procedure. And thank goodness I pushed it off.

And it does turn out that dentistry as a profession has issues with unnecessary treatments and fraud. This investigation in the Atlantic discusses how prevalent unnecessary treatments are in America.

Had I not turned down a root canal last year I would have subjected myself to something I didn’t need. Given my chronic health issues, you can imagine that I’m not eager to spend money and time on treatments I don’t need. Particularly ones known to be painful with the potential for side effects like infection. So be careful out there. And I hope you have a dentist like mine in Montana.