Notes From A Trained Observer

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My job is to visit dental offices where procedures are underway. I observe. That’s a big part of my job. I’m a trained observer. Then, I gather what I hear and see and put into a report virtually anyone can read and understand. I’m hired many times because the doctor wants to make changes and improvements.

You’d be amazed at what I see. Or, then again, maybe you wouldn’t be.

Let me give you an idea: Shag carpet from 1975. Stained floors and walls. Unkept restrooms. Red décor. Old furnishings that should have been retired years before. I could go on and on.

You have to wonder, “Is the doctor really up-to-par on recent innovations and advancements in dentistry if they’re hesitant to keep things up?”

It’s a valid question.

On occasion, I also manage to accidentally overhear patients instructing the dentist or the hygienist when they think they should be seen. Usually the conversation goes like this, “I don’t want to have an exam two-times a year. My physician said once time is enough.”

Your physician? Huh? Since when did they spend 4 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours of ongoing continuing education specializing in oral health? Pretty sure, never.

That’s like a dentist giving you advice on cardiology and heart disease.

(I’m not even a dentist – just someone that has seen first-hand what can happen to someone that “skips” appointments or sets their own re-care schedule!)

Did you know oral cancer (cancer of the mouth) is normally only detected by dentists and hygienists?

That means since more than 50% of Americans don’t see the dentist, 50% of our country will never know they have or at high-risk of developing a severely painful and tough-to-treat disease.

And, pulling all your teeth probably isn’t the best solution. Sadly, sometimes, it’s the only one. Being “edentulous” or without teeth, poses its own unique set of undesirable health problems.

Here’s another one I’ve overhead more than once: “Periodontal disease? My teeth are fine. The bleeding stops by mid-morning. I don’t have any disease. That’s hogwash.”

According to the website,, 80% of Americans have gum disease (Periodontal Disease). If you know 10 people, chances are, 8 will have gum disease. EIGHT!

Bottom line: If you choose to skip your bi-annual exams, you put yourself at risk. If you choose to ignore regular cleanings or, for someone already “perio involved” (they have the disease) ignore your SRP visit (that means, perio scaling and root planing), you’re putting yourself further at-risk for bigger, body-wide or systemic problems.

For the price of a dinner out at Olive Garden, you can find out what kind of health your mouth is in. It’s likely the best investment you’ll ever make. Don’t ignore your oral health. It can be a silent killer.

Why the “silent killer?” According to the ADA: “It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.”

Call today. Don’t wait. Health has to be a top priority.

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