It needs to be clearly understood that all dental “spaces” don’t require restorations(fillings). At times these are quite detrimental for dental health. Many patients approach their dentist for getting in those “spaces”. However, fillings can only be done in case of dental cavities –due to dental caries, dental abrasion etc. I mean if there is a hole or some cavity in a tooth, obviously that is the only indication for filling to manage that defect.
Spaces that can develop in between various teeth are due to a number of reasons. However, layman confuses all spaces in between teeth with “cavities” and hence they think that everything will be okay again once these spaces are “packed” with suitable fillings. No, that is not true. The management of dental spaces depends upon the cause and at times hardly any treatment is required and in some cases hardly any thing can be done to manage that “spacing”.
Most of patients who go to a dentist for filling of dental spaces are suffering either from food impaction or sensitivity to hot and cold. A qualified dentist will never do anything harmful to the patient. So, these guys keep on explaining in depth that “packing” of such spaces is not going to solve this problem. However, as you know, we have a big problem of dental quacks here.
Thinking that their dentist does not know their problem, some of these head towards dental quacks who receive their “preys” with open arms and sweet tongue. They just do whatever the patient wants howsoever damaging the procedure may be for the dental health.
Here is an example of what dental quacks can do to damage your teeth. This lady came to me today with the complaint of dental sensitivity to hot and cold. This lady got a crown (“cap”) for her canine tooth. As he complained of “spacing” in between the “capped” tooth and the tooth lying infront of it, she again went to her dentist. However, as she was not convinced with what he said, she went to a quack who filled “silver” ( silver amalgam) in that gap between the capped tooth and the one lying anteriorly. She unnecessarily got this “silver packing” in that space two years ago.
But she does not have any complaint about this “silver packing”. Unfortunately she is unaware of hazards of such a “packing”. I explained to her how this packing can damage both the teeth – “capped” as well as the natural tooth. And it may take a couple of years. Generally, within a few months of such a “crude” work, the person starts feeling pain in the area, gum bleeding , sensitivity to hot and cold, and with passage of time the surrounding teeth become mobile. However, as we say the public memory is short-lived. Even if they are able to carry on for a few months with such a work, they don’t blame that quack rather they say that his treatment enhanced the “lifespan” of his teeth.
No, they won’t listen. I also tried to convince this lady to get that “silver packing” removed. She said she will get rid of that at a later day, though I know she will never ! Some people don’t listen anyway.
Take home lesson of this episode is that never ask your dentist to fill any “dental spaces” .. a qualified person knows what is in his patient’s best interest while the dental quacks can do whatever they want, or whatever their “prey” wishes. I wonder if dental quacks are causing so much damage to a common man’s health, then whose fault is this anyway …poor patient’s, mine, yours or all of us collectively? —- of course, our collective responsibility !