I see patients in my office who have previously committed significant amounts of time and money to have their teeth restored. They have replaced missing teeth, repaired damaged ones, straightened them, and enhanced the appearance of their pearly whites through a variety of cosmetic procedures. Most of these folks recognize the importance of follow up care to preserve their investment, but there are some who neglect simple maintenance after the hard work has been done.

I don’t understand this. It’s like someone who makes the commitment to buy a Mercedes Benz, a durable, high quality product, but then neglects regular oil changes even though the cost of this service is just a small fraction of the original purchase price.

Recently I saw a patient who had extensive dental restorative work done several years ago. It was a time and cost intensive project which made a dramatic improvement in both the patient’s dental function and appearance. When the work was completed, this person did not return to my office for several years until they were in pain. Nor did the patient seek out follow up care anywhere else during the interim. As a result, additional complex treatment will be required to bring this patient back to optimal dental health. All this could have

been avoided by following a plan of regular maintenance and repair.

So what does this mean to you? Whether your teeth have been restored by a dentist or you have all your natural teeth, the key to keeping them working well and looking good for a long time is regular maintenance. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, the cost of regular care is much less than the cost of major repairs—just the same as an automobile. You may not have a Mercedes in the garage, but you have something just as valuable in your mouth. Take care of it.

Yours for excellent dental health