Article written by: Dr Mitchell Innes

Dentistry has changed so much over the past 50 years, especially in recent times.

I'm glad to be back from a much-needed break to be treating the lovely patients at Casey Dentists. I enjoy meeting new visitors to the practice and since my return have met some wonderful people from all age groups. One lady has stood out in particular - Sue, a baby boomer. We discussed her past experiences with dentistry and she outlined tumultuous early days when teeth were "ripped out" with little or no anaesthetic, leaving her bloody mouthed with a bunch of tissues to walk home in a small Queensland town. This was her first memory! We went on to chat about how much things have changed. As a university student Sue visited the University of Queensland dental school in Brisbane, which she reflected on with interest
as she described how she was given a lot of information on her teeth. Sue went on to describe getting amalgam fillings put in and the experiences she has had with private practice dentists - some bad, some good - and the relationships she formed with the dentists in different towns along her journey through life.

Sue stated that one dentist she met was great and became her family dentist, until he passed away prematurely. The search for the right replacement had gone on for years, with Sue recently moving to Townsville, where a work colleague pointed her in my direction. Sue said she had prioritised her teeth her entire life, especially because her mother had false teeth and she didn't want to have bad tooth pain or lose her teeth. 

I closely examined Sue's dental condition. Sue had done very well to maintain her teeth in the state they were in, given the eras of dentistry she had lived through. There was an upper molar missing, a couple of root canalled teeth, one without a crown, multiple old breakingdown amalgam fillings and some older white fillings that were failing. There was also a little build-up of calcified plaque around the teeth and under the gums and some slight sensitivity. We discussed what Sue wanted to do with her teeth and she said ideally keep them, fix up those areas where the old fillings were breaking down and clean the gums up. Sue was given a treatment plan with all the treatment required and costs. Shortly after this Sue began treatment of her gums. Following this appointment I encountered Sue in the reception area where she remarked "I've found my new dental spa". I was happy for her. Sue had obviously found a practice where she felt as relaxed as she does when she visits a day spa. I'm proud of all the staff at Casey Dentists for making Sue feel so at ease. I'm looking forward to completing the treatment Sue requires shortly.

Dentistry has changed so much over the past 50 years, especially in recent times. We at Casey Dentists understand that in the past some dental procedures have left people wary of coming to the dentist, which has resulted in many more teeth being extracted, filled and root canalled than needed to be if regular dental visits were attended. Our focus is on
prevention of oral disease, maintenance and trying to keep our patients' teeth as long as possible. We also offer a number of options for replacing teeth so that our patients can eat the things they want and have a great smile as well. 

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