Clients generally contact the Weiss-Dekel 4Hands.Dental Specialists Clinic because they’re suffering pain, discomfort, or aesthetic issues. By contrast, very few clients come for preventative care or to halt a problem before it down spirals.
The predominant reason for contacting the clinic is due to insufficient awareness of the importance of oral and tooth health, and misunderstandings about deterioration that can occur due to years of negligence when it comes to oral care. Not taking care of problems in a timely manner can cause extensive infection, receding gums and bones, cumulative difficulties due to incorrect mastication movements, and even irreversible damage, or damage that requires lengthy, complex and expensive treatment.
Diseases related to the mouth fit into three primary categories:
- Diseases which damage teeth. These include caries and holes, or fractures and breakage due to injury.
- Diseases that damage the tissue which support the teeth. These include gum infections, infections of the jaws’ bone structure, bone deterioration, pockets of decay, and receding gums.
- Diseases linked to excessive activity by the muscles used in chewing. These include mandibular damage; pain in the muscles, head and neck; tooth clamping and grinding; wear and tear; tooth mobility.
The two first groups involve infectious diseases caused by bacteria. This means they are contagious and may expand from one area to another, from one tooth to another, and from person to person. They are chronic, the development is gradual, and continues over years.
Most people suffering from these diseases aren't aware of them. Sometimes our clinic’s specialists come across people who have all three types of diseases, yet feel nothing and so remain unaware of the scope of their oral ill health.
Caries harms the tooth’s structure, its enamel and dentine.
In its early stages, the disease appears as white spots on the teeth, sourced in bacterial activity in the mouth. Bacteria break down sugars and secrete acids. When these acids accumulate because oral hygiene is poor, the tooth begins to lose its calcium content. Eventually this process is what causes a ‘hole’ in the tooth.
Treating the hole is what is commonly known as a “filling” but fillings don’t treat caries. Fillings simply correct localised damage resulting from caries.
Weiss-Dekel 4Hands.Dental Specialists Clinic takes caries and its effects very seriously, as part of our clinic’s holistic perception. Before any specialist treatments can be given, caries must first be eradicated as the baseline for continued treatment.
Treating caries requires diverse methods for healing the white marks appearing in teeth, and persistent preservation actions to ensure constant oral hygiene. Our clinic’s team uses a range of accessories for diagnosing the state to which caries has developed. This diagnosis becomes the starting point for structuring a personalised treatment plan for every patient.
Signs of gingivitis (gum disease) include bleeding gums, pockets of decay, spaces forming between the teeth and the gum, receding gums, tooth movement, and malodors coming from the mouth.
Pockets of decay and receding gums are clear external signs of jawbone absorption, a phenomenon which derives from infectious gum diseases. If a client hasn’t yet felt any pain and therefore hasn’t set an appointment for a dental checkup, there’s no way for the client to know that the disease has set in, is actively progressing, and what stage it’s reached.
It’s of vital importance that clients are aware of their situation vis-à-vis caries even without preset dental visits. Any sign of bleeding gums when brushing teeth, of unpleasant odors from the mouth, or a bad taste in the mouth, should be cautionary signs that make a client come in right away for a checkup. We do expect clients to learn how to identify oral problems and have them professionally reviewed in just the same way as a person would get checked for unexplained ongoing pain or a wound that refuses to close and heal.
Early identification of caries and periodontal (gum) infections can be carried out by one of the Weiss-Dekel 4Hands.Dental Specialists Clinic hygienists, who are experts at removing the bacterial layer on the affected teeth in areas that the client is unable to handle alone.
When our dental hygienists identify active gum diseases, they can provide the appropriate warning and convey the information to the dental specialist. This is what makes periodic visits to the hygienist so important: they are a way of ensuring long term preservation of oral health.
Excessive use of the chewing muscles
Problems linked to excessive use of the muscles used in chewing are called parafunctional disorders. Excessive mandibular activity can be a manifestation of tension, stress, or pressures of coping with everyday life. Some people eventually form habits such as clamping the jaws together, or grinding their teeth in their sleep. Others even do these actions unconsciously during the day.
The damage caused by this disorder is diverse, and can include injury to the mandibular joints, including grinding, clicking and pain, pain felt in the face and temples, headache, neck and shoulder pain, tooth mobility and displacement, wearing down the teeth, causing teeth to crack including in reconstruction remedies, and cracking or breaking crowns, implants or dentures.
In general, the damage is likely to be different from one person to the next but the ‘weakest spot’ in any person’s mouth is where most of the damage is likely to be found, and to a greater degree.
Diagnosing the disorder is of vital importance in the framework of planning dental treatment. When clients are aware of the disorder’s existence and its scope, they are better able to control the disorder and complete treatment successfully.
As happens so frequently with other health issues and diseases, most people with oral diseases and disorders aren’t aware that they’re developing, or how to prevent them. By the time you make an appointment for a dental checkup, it could be too late for simple measures such as damage control, and instead, require full damage repair.
The Weiss-Dekel 4Hands.Dental Specialists Clinic takes the unique approach of offering clients a preliminary diagnosis which can help catch these disorders on time, before they’ve developed further into fully fledged diseases.
Preliminary diagnoses can classify the state of a person’s dental health as high risk, medium risk or low risk. The classification will help point to diseases that the client is likely to find developing in the future.
Professor Ervin Weiss: “Classifying the level of risk makes it possible to choose the optimal care program for the client’s personal needs. We can structure a follow-up and risk management plan, conduct checkups on oral health and developing diseases, prevent them and formulate methods for ongoing maintenance of oral health”.