If you read the papers or you like to keep abreast of health news, you may have read articles focused on the boom of DIY dentistry. Articles claim that DIY dentistry has become more popular because people are struggling to afford to see a dentist or encountering difficulties registering with a dentist in their local area.
Why are people tempted to do it alone?
The lure of the DIY fix is the price; many people wonder what is the point in paying loads of money for a dentist to fix their tooth if they can do it themselves and it’s easy to see why people think like this in the spur of the moment when they’ve just had a dental accident, it’s the end of the month and their waiting or the next payday and they can’t get hold of an emergency dentist. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of attempting dental treatment at home.
What are the risks associated with DIY dentistry?
There are several risks associated with DIY dentistry and most dentists strongly advise patients against attempting any repairs at home. The main problem is that in most cases, there is huge potential for making the situation worse and causing pain, inflammation and an increased risk of infection.
Dentists receive many years of specialist training to be able to carry out dental treatment and without this expertise there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you try to do your own repair job.
DIY dentistry carries a risk of further damage; teeth can be broken, bacteria can infect a wound and there is potential for ineffective work, which will require dental treatment in the future. Many people cite cost as the factor, which prevents them from going to a dentist, but it is often much cheaper to see a dentist for treatment at the first opportunity than seeing a dentist to correct botched treatment. Gaps formed through bad dentistry can be fixed through orthodontic systems, such as Incognito.
Dentists are also worried that patients who carry out their own dental repairs are missing out on regular check-ups, which are essential for maintaining good oral and general health. During a check-up, dentists examine the mouth to identify signs of decay, cavities, gum disease and even oral cancer, and missing out on these checks increase the risk of conditions being left untreated. Studies have also shown that oral health has a major bearing on general health and skipping appointments can actually contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes.
What to do in a dental emergency
If you suffer dental injuries unexpectedly it’s always best to seek advice from a dentist than trying to fix any problems yourself. Try contacting your regular dentist first and if you are unable to get an appointment, try an emergency dentist in your local area. You can find details online or by contacting your health insurance provider.
Examples of dental emergencies include dental abscesses, broken teeth, dislodged teeth, jaw injuries and severe dental pain. Often, if you cannot see a dentist, for example, if the office is closed, your dentist will leave a telephone number where they can be contacted and they can provide advice to you over the telephone.
It may be possible for you to take pain relief medicine overnight and then see your dentist first thing. In some cases, such as facial or jaw injuries, it is best to go to your nearest Emergency Department . If you have a dental abscess, there is only so much your GP can do, so try and get an appointment with your dentist; dental abscesses are treated in a different way to other types of abscess and this is why they can only be treated by dentists.