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“There is no excuse for delivering poor care” – is always a responsible dentist’s motto and that’s our dentist’s motto here at Smileway Dental Clinic USJ, as we believe that a doctors owe their best to their patients when it comes to their care. However, do we only hold our dentist responsible for our dental health? Are we guilty of making excuses for delivering poor dental care to ourselves? How often are we brushing and flossing? How often do we go for our dental check-ups? Whenever I receive a patient who have not visited a dentist in 2-3 years, coming with a severe toothache — in unfortunate cases of irreversible pulpitis, they are typically presented with more complex procedures of a root-canal treatment or extraction, which would need a replacement with i.e. implants, prosthetics.

It is always with a heavy heart, that I deliver the news that the damage done to their tooth is irreversible. In such a situation, I can understand a patient’s train of thought and concerns, “What do these treatments mean? Will they last? How many sessions for each treatment? Should I go with the costlier root-canal and crown now, or should I go with an extraction and then later figure out a replacement for the tooth?” I do my best to discuss the types of treatments, their procedures, their likely prognosis as well as assist them in weighing the pros and cons alongside their budgets and long-term plans. Ultimately, after whatever the patient decides, however excellent and satisfied our patients feel when the we are done – I know, there will still be a lingering afterthought — ‘why is taking care of my dental health so costly?’ And, to be honest, it’s really not – truly, it is neglect that costs time and money. Going regularly for a routine check-up and scaling once-to-twice a year actually allows for us, your dentist, to detect and prevent dental lesions and damage before irreversible and severe damage is done.

Thus, greatly reducing or eliminating the need in the future for more complex and therefore, costlier dental procedures such as dental implants, root canals, crowns and bridges. Routine dental check-ups at Smileway Dental Clinic USJ are done whenever a patient visits, and also with every routine dental scaling and polishing. This ensures that every patient’s oral health is regularly monitored to prevent any irreversible damage from happening in the near future – our patients leave knowing exactly the condition of their oral health. It is far more convenient and affordably cost-effective to practice prevention and early-detection regularly – not allowing neglect to take control of our oral health or wallets.

A (not entirely) appropriate analogy would be similar to ensuring your car has optimum levels of petrol. When the tank is nearly empty, you would go to the gas station and fill it up. You have to fill it up and spend a minimum to ensure your car can move. However, if you leave it too long at empty, your car eventually stops working and you have to spend more time and money on towing your car to a petrol station, or you’ll just have to inconvenient your friend to bring petrol to you.

Your dental health is definitely not as straightforward as that, there are no meters in your mouths to inform you when your cavity is getting too big… but you always have your dentist! So let us help you. This is why it is very important, and is also your responsibility to visit your dentist so he can tell you when there are little cavities you can fill, or if scaling needs to be done to protect your gums. The cost comes only when you neglect your dental health and dentist. So let your dedicated dentist here at Smileway, help you keep your care affordable and convenient.

Written By: Dr. Belinda Dwee

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