Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is better than cure

Our dental team at Kingsclere Dental Practice in Alton covers the topic of prevention of dental disease such as decay and periodontal disease.

We all often pay a lot of lip service to this topic, however in reality very little effective prevention is carried out. The mouth is not in isolation here, and the same is true of many chronic diseases which have risk factors that we can modify.

One of the main reasons for this is it is often very difficult for healthcare professionals to motivate people to successfully prevent disease. I suspect the main reason for this is that the anticipated outcome from prevention is that "nothing" will happen. Let me try to explain that a little. If you suffered from a disease that made you feel very dizzy and you were given medication for that disease which meant you stop feeling dizzy it is likely will continue to take the medication. There is a tangible and measurable benefit from the intervention. This is true with most medical intervention. If the benefit of having the medication or surgery outweighs the risks of not having it then it is relatively easy to make the decision.

Prevention is different in that the only measurable benefit is that you will not need to have treatment that you may otherwise have needed. Let's take the tooth for example: if you have a tooth that has no decay in it then any prevention that is carried out aims to keep it in that situation, so you could put a lot of effort in to prevent decay and the tooth will be exactly the same as it was at the outset.

Type 2 diabetes is another disease where measures can be taken to prevent it. If you do not currently have diabetes then anything you do to reduce the risk of you getting diabetes will not have a tangible and measurable benefit, and therefore it is much harder to be motivated to avoid those things that may increase your risk.

The only real way to decide if you want to go ahead and do the things that are necessary to prevent those diseases is to look at the probable impact of those diseases on your lifespan and lifestyle if you did get them, and weigh this risk up against the time and investment and hassle of introducing a preventative regime.

The philosophy behind dental medicine is all about prevention-prevention of both dental disease and other diseases. By reading these blogs you are probably someone who is more likely to take action to help yourself. I'd like to encourage you to do so, as it's much easier to prevent the problems than to try and turn the clock back later on!

For more information contact Kingsclere Dental Practice in Alton on 01420 82365 or  or visit us at 90 Normandy St, Alton, GU34 1DH.