why this blog
the basis of this blog is my passion towards my work. i believe i have a lot to offer to my patients. first of all, of course, pain-free dental treatment. which, strangely, is like an alien subject in this part of the world. but being a human first and a dentist, much much later...
i am no stranger than us ordinary people. i used to be terrified whenever i have dental appointments. i will feel like cringing, my heart beats thousand times more, i'll be sweating like.. ermm.. the sound of the drill makes me want to run faster than you can say 'drill'..
when i become a dentist (only about 4 yrs ago..) i set myself a life long goal:
- i want all my patients to feel comfortable when they are with me
- i want my patients to be able to tell me their fears and expectations
- i want to provide dental treatments with littlest pain possible
- i want my patients to be satisfied with the service i give, they feel that that is the best that they could get
- i want me to be satisfied with the service i give, i feel that that is the best that i can give
reality hits me like buckets of icy cold water. malaysians... their take on their dental health... i would estimate only about 20% keeps their biannual dental checkups, and about 95% of that 20% are in kuala lumpur. so for me, practicing in bandar baru bangi.... only 1 out of 10 patient i saw come for their routine check ups.
SPEECH BY Y.B. DATUK SERI DR. CHUA SOI LEK,
(EX) MINISTER OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
EVENT: LAUNCH OF ORAL HEALTH MONTH 2007
The last epidemiological survey of adults in Malaysia in year 2000 revealed that only 25.2% of adults (aged 15 years and above) had a dental check-up in the past year while 15.3% had one in the past 1 to 2 years.
its really frustrating. usually when they come to me... its too late for me to do any minimally invasive (= minimal pain) treatment anymore. instead we were left with either one of two: root canal treatment or extraction. in which.. both of course we can try and do it as pain-free as possible, but for sure both are really invasive procedure...
so lesson number 1:
try and keep your routine dental check up. it doesnt have to be biannually or annually, keep it at your own time but do it regularly. the advantages would be:
- small caries lesion can be detected early. you may not feel anything, just a stinging during eating sweets.. but its there. so if we can find it early, the restoration process (the treatment) would truly be pain-free.
- your calculus or staining or karang gigi is at minimal level so the removal will also be minimal and again, pain-free. try imagining removing a 5 years old calculus vs 1 year old calculus. or try this: imagine how hard we have to scrap 5 year old dirt vs 1 year old dirt. go figure.
- start your child's check up early. say around 2-3 yrs old. that way they will get used to the surrounding hence, eliminate the phobia.
- consider the cost, my friend!! routine check up will cost you about rm10-15, simple filling rm50-60. so at most, per visit you will pay.. say about rm120 for check up and 2 simple fillings with no pain.. IF u hv holes in your teeth.. only IF... compare it with.... when its too late.. your tooth already need root canal treatment... which will cost you more than rm200... and multiple visits.. with the toothache that you might have to endure before that because you left that hole in your tooth for much too long.. not to mention the meds you have to take... oh did i mention the hideous swelling that might accompany the pain??
think about it....