The Perfect Fit...
Becoming a dentist is a long road. After four years of making good grades in high school, one must then make better grades in college. To get into a typical four year dental school program, one must then excel on a battery of graduate school level exams taken toward the end of college. After passing those hurdles, candidates must impress peers and faculty in a gauntlet of interviews and orientations. To earn the privilege of practicing dentistry, multiple written and clinical board exams must be passed throughout residency training. Finally, upon entering practice, a lifelong of continuing education is needed and required.
Somewhere along the way, type A personalities become even more type A. Many times, the difference between success and failure in dentistry is measured in millimeters and microns. The perfect fit or the perfect bite or the perfect smile takes nothing less than a demand for accuracy and attention to the smallest of details.
In dentistry, we strive for the “perfect fit” in most everything we do. Anything removable from the mouth (dentures, partial dentures, retainers, nightguards, sleep appliances, etc.) must strike a balance between being tight enough to stay in place comfortably and “loose” enough to be removed by patients for cleaning and maintenance. Fixed (“glued” in) restorations (caps, onlays,bridges, veneers, implant supported crowns, etc.) must fit within micron tolerances to achieve maximum longevity. The pursuit of the perfect fit is enough to make one’s hair start to fall out.
That’s my excuse, anyway.
The perfect fit is often a process. Sometimes, lab work must be adjusted because of changes or shifting in adjacent or opposing teeth. Your bite on a filling may feel perfect when you are still numb, but feel off a few days later. The bone under dentures and partials is constantly changing and adjustments or re-fitting are sometimes needed through the years. Remember, our teeth are constantly adrift in a sea of bone and change is a natural part of growing up.
Understandably, it can be frustrating for patients to have to take off of work or school and make a dental appointment to receive these adjustments. The perfect bite or the perfect smile is most always achievable with a little patience and a little time. Those extra fine tuning visits are because your dentist cares and wants things to last as long as possible. Sometimes the perfect fit takes a little extra time.
Until next week, keep smiling.
Please send comments or questions to Dr. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.