Anything is interesting if you tell it as a good story. I’ve said it before but periodontics is often regarded as dull as dishwater. And if dentists view it in this way, is it any wonder that patients do not buy into it? So let’s think again.
Periodontics is a wonderful story of a mystical subgingival world. It is a living, breathing world of dragons and knights, and battles between good and evil. Organisms living in this complex world are locked in a constant struggle between destruction and regeneration. It’s an ever-changing urban jungle – the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Sometimes the good guys win, and all is well, while sometimes the bad guys do, and their implacable course of annihilation is allowed to continue.
But don’t despair, the Fifth Ultrasonic Brigade is on its way, bristling with modern technology to come to the rescue. The good guys eventually win out, and calm and health reign once again. The evil sub-gingival empire is no more.
It’s a wonderful world of architectural design and construction. The gingival complex is a beautiful architectural structure, with beams of collagen radiating out to create the perfect aesthetic and functional smile design. Michelangelo, eat your heart out. Through this perfect form the tooth effortlessly emerges into the daylight and shines.
But like many things it can crumble through time, neglect and decay. We may need to redesign and rebuild. We may need to recreate the beauty of the original architecture or knock down the building and start again. With care, thought and planning we can create the six-million-dollar man – or the £20,000 smile.
It is the Hollywood world of beauty creation. It is the world of genetics and high technology. It is the caring world of health and medicine. It is the wonderful world of education and learning. It is whatever you want to make it.
Now you may think I have gone completely bonkers, but bear with me.
Periodontics is a wonderful service that we have to offer, but unless we enjoy it and believe in it – completely – we cannot deliver it to our patients in the most effective way. If we don’t buy into it our patents never will. So let’s create a magical story.
• Finding a way to successfully sell the idea of periodontics is important
• Use vivid imagery to try and relate the effects of poor dental care on gum health to your patients
• Good dental hygiene is rewarded by little need for periodontics
• If poor dental hygiene has taken its toll, patients should be aware of the treatment options available
• Patients need to be told about the periodontics. If they’re not told about them, how can we expect them to take it up?