When Things Go Wrong...
December 09, 2015
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When Things Go Wrong…

“If anything can go wrong, it will.”  -Murphy’s Law

            Dentistry is an art and a science, practiced by human hands. As much as we strive for perfection, dentistry sometimes fails. Fillings break. Porcelain chips. Root canals get re-infected. The mouth is a harsh, sometimes acidic environment. Our jaws are capable of generating over 250 pounds of force on our back molars when biting.

            The mouth is a tough place for teeth and dental restorations to live.

            Of course, if nothing ever broke or got a cavity or got infected, dentistry wouldn’t exist in the first place. In a perfect world, teeth wouldn’t need doctors and we’d all be born with beautiful, white, straight, healthy teeth surrounded by pink, healthy gums.

            Unfortunately, neither is the case.

            When maintained properly, teeth are quite resilient. Unfortunately, very few of us really maintain any parts of our body properly. Life tends to happen. Brushing and flossing twice a day and routine maintenance visits for our teeth sometimes get skipped or missed. Just like that diet that we are always trying to keep up with. Life happens, choices are made, and priorities are determined.

            Likewise, when maintained properly, modern dentistry is generally pretty resilient. New generations of dental filling material, bonding agents, and porcelain systems are constantly improving the ways in which we can fix teeth. Dental implants and bone grafting technology get better every year. Research and development are improving the ways that we can repair and replace teeth nearly every day. It is likely that there will constantly be a “better way” just around the bend. That’s just how technology works nowadays.

            When dentistry does fail, it is frustrating for both patient and dentist. There is usually time and cost involved. Sometimes there is pain. Most always, there is inconvenience. Dental teams do not want any of these issues for their patients.

            When a tooth breaks or hurts or gets infected, that’s damage done to what God gave us. It would be unrealistic to believe that a dentist, even with the best of technology and skill, can do better than He did.

            All we can do is the best that the art and science have to offer.

            Then, we hope for the reverse of Murphy’s Law…Yhprum’s (Murphy spelled backwards) Law:  “Anything that can go right, will go right.”

            Until next week, keep smiling.

-Comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.