Study Shows Many Dentists Aggressively Overtreat
A journal article review published in the International Dental Journal has found that many dentists are often subjecting patients to unnecessary treatments that are ineffective. The researchers state:
"Traditional restorative dental treatment has many shortcomings and has not been shown to be an effective method for managing caries. In spite of this, many dentists continue to be powered by an aggressive restorative approach which may result in unnecessary treatment and which must now be seen as inappropriate."
This same researcher also conducted studies on preventative and restorative dentistry. He found that when restorative dentistry is used, it often introduces new problems. While he attributes part of the problem to bacteria, it is actually the treatments themselves that are the issue. Bacteria is a response to decay in the mouth, but not the actual cause. When treatments are used to fix dental problems, they do not address the underlying cause of the tooth decay, which could be a lack of nutrients in the diet, an imbalanced internal body chemistry, and altered blood sugar levels.
"Restorative and scaling treatments have not generally provided an effective method for managing dental caries and periodontal diseases. Rather, restorative treatment has often covered up the disease processes in the short term and created a new problem: that of maintenance and re-restoration of restored teeth." (Elderton 12-21)
When people visit the dentist, they are often told that they need to have invasive procedures done, such as
The problem with many dental procedures is that they partially kill the tooth or introduce dangerous chemicals into the body. For instance, when an individual has a
Many dental treatments, including root canals, are done unnecessarily. Even if there is an infection present, the tooth is usually still relatively healthy. The cause of many infections is due to the tooth becoming weak or damaged, and as a response to materials in the mouth, the tooth attempts to protect itself by creating an abscess. If the underlying cause of the infection or tooth decay is addressed, then the tooth, in many cases, will be able to heal itself naturally.
The studies mentioned above note how important it is that dental professionals begin using less invasive treatment options and start giving patients more preventative advice. While the researchers note that there are cases that do require clinical intervention, "often this should be entirely preventive and of a non-invasive type." (Elderton 17-24)
Elderton, RJ. "Overtreatment with restorative dentistry: when to intervene?." International Dental Journal. 43.1 (1993): 17-24. Web. 14 Jan. 2012. < http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/8478124/reload=0;jsessionid=GiZ1Rzc8CA3u6hSrfsYL.80 >.
Elderton, RJ. "Preventive (evidence-based) approach to quality general dental care.." Medical Principles and Practice : International Journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre . 12.1 (2003): 12-21. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. < http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/12707497 >.
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