Dr. Joseph Shohmelian
BDS(Syd) LDS(Vic) FICOI FWCMD FASCID
Preventive and Conservative Dentistry
Founder of the Australian Society For Conservative Implant Dentistry
Author, Lecturer and Mentor To The Dental Profession In The Conservative Replacement
Of Missing Teeth With Keyhole Implant Dentistry
The relationship we have with our patients, the loyal and wonderful people who attend our practice, is based on the commitment my staff and I have to preventive and conservative dental care for each one of them. At every stage, we aim to prevent the next phase of dental destruction and if treatment is required, to perform conservative options rather than radical procedures. All of our patients will testify to the validity of this statement!
Our aim is to prevent the potential problems and pain that your teeth and gums can cause, with the intention of reducing the amount of time you need to spend in the dental chair and ultimately, reducing the unnecessary expenses brought about by these problems.
It is pleasing to know that most of our patients only require an annual check-up to confirm that they are performing all the necessary steps to prevent potentially destructive dental diseases. More often than not, a general scaling and cleaning of the teeth is performed followed by a topical fluoride application, thereby completing the annual preventive visit. That's as much as you should need in this day and age! Of course, little problems like a chipped tooth or replacement of a fractured filling may require some minor attention, but that is all you should expect, especially if you were not brought up in a fluoridated area during your childhood. .
Dentists generally graduate from universities at the young age of 22-24! I was one of them back in 1978 and what I knew then, in comparison to what I know now MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the quality of care my patients receive.
It's understandable that every new graduate has a limited set of skills to start with. Over many years, these basic skills improve by attending advanced courses and by trying to solve the myriad of problems with which patients present to our practices every day.
Accordingly, there is a learning curve and each practitioner reaches their own personal optimal level at different times. I have found this out during my career by employing many young and inexperienced dentists as well as those who have been practising for a few decades.
It's been amazing to see the immense differences in skills and attitudes to preventive care among these practitioners. As a result of these experiences I can share this word of wisdom with you ......... if your dentist is not diligently trying to PREVENT dental disease from damaging your dentition or if your dentist is recommending RADICAL treatments such as multiple fillings, extractions, crowns, implants etc ... GET ANOTHER OPINION!
7 Help Street
(02) 9411 6300
Call To Speak With
Shannon or Jenny
Monday - Friday
8am - 4pm
Currently, we can divide the population into two broad categories:
The Fluoride Generation and the Pre-Fluoride Generation
Generally speaking, the majority of patients born in Sydney after 1968 have had a good exposure to fluoride in the water supply during the first 10 years of life when the permanent teeth are forming under the gums. This generation has also generally been brought up with a good understanding of the need to brush one's teeth and to be conscious about the excessive intake of sugar in one's diet.
This has resulted in a REDUCTION of over 90% in the amount of tooth decay and dental treatments required to restore damaged teeth.
Hence, if you belong to this category, you should continue with daily brushing and flossing to maintain your healthy condition and to prevent potential gum disease in the future. Even though you may not be subject to tooth decay, inefficient or insufficient oral hygiene (especially flossing) will result in gingivitis and eventual periodontal (gum) disease, a condition which can lead to the loss of multiple teeth at a time.
In contrast, the Pre-Fluoride Generation, have had varying degrees of dental repair, ranging from just a few fillings, to a mouth where not only is every tooth heavily restored with fillings, crowns and root canal therapies, but a number of diseased teeth may have been extracted. This generation suffers constantly with the need for repairs to chips and fractures of both old fillings and brittle tooth structure, often requiring crowns and at times, if unsalvageable, requiring extraction.
For the Fluoride Generation, dental visits are simple, usually requiring an annual visit for a simple examination, cleaning and scaling followed by a fluoride treatment. X-ray films are required regularly and I have found that every 3-4 years is as often as they need to be done ...... the majority of the time, finding nothing that requires treatment! The fee for an annual preventive visit may range from $275 to $385 ..... a minimal expense over one's lifetime in comparison to the expenses incurred by the Pre-Fluoride Generation which can be multiple thousands every few years!
If you belong to this latter group, you know what I mean! You have had to endure the endless hours of treatment to have multiple fillings in your teenage years, followed by the occasional toothache which has resulted in one or two root canal therapies or extractions ....... and to top it off, your teeth have had a few, or in many cases, multiple broken corners over the years, resulting in costly porcelain crowns and bridges. You may have even reached the stage where such root-filled teeth, even though crowned, have failed and needed to be extracted, only to be replaced with partial dentures, bridges or costly implants!
So, what CAN you expect from me when I meet you and provide an opinion about your dental care and future treatments?
Very simply, my understanding of the human dentition and dentistry in general can be summed up as follows: NOTHING that dentists can create to replace missing tooth structure, whether it be silver, resin, gold or ceramic fillings, porcelain crowns, dentures or even sophisticated implants CAN BE AS GOOD AS YOUR NATURAL TEETH.
For my patients, this means that I make every effort to KEEP YOUR NATURAL TEETH IN THEIR NATURAL STATE by helping you to understand WHY your teeth are in their current condition and to PROTECT you from the NEXT STAGE OF DESTRUCTION.
Once you understand what is going on and how to prevent future problems, the stage is set for a lifetime that can be free of unpleasant and costly dental treatments. That's my goal for each of my patients and a goal that the vast majority of my patients keep achieving, year-in, year-out.
If you decide to call our practice, you will speaking with either Shannon or Jenny, experienced ladies with whom I have had the pleasure to work for nearly two decades! Please feel free to comfortably discuss your problems with them and let them know your main concerns. Once you share these with them, they will ensure that I am well-informed before we meet so that I can address your needs as efficiently as possible. Remember, no matter what condition your dental health is in currently, we will always focus on providing you with preventive and conservative dental care to protect you into the future.
I trust this information has been helpful and look forward to being of assistance to you and your family.
Dr. Joseph Shohmelian
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