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Supporting Your Practice

Is it Still the Goal of Dentists to Save Teeth?

There was a time not too long ago when dentists had little choice but to do whatever they could to save a tooth. But with the appearance of implants in the mid-1980s, this philosophy changed as many teeth that might have been saved were extracted in favour of what was seen as a superior alternative.

Today, with a more thorough understanding of peri-implantitis and the limitations of implants, the pendulum has now swung somewhat back the other way.

Or has it?

Dr. Vinay Bhide, a Periodontist in the Greater Toronto Area, recently gave an online presentation to 2nd year dental students at U of T where he posed the question of whether or not it is still the goal of the dentist to save teeth.

In this conversation with Dr. John O’Keefe, Director of Knowledge Networks CDA, Dr. Bhide lays out his argument for approaching every situation with the goal of trying to save the tooth, while also acknowledging that sometimes a tooth may not be worth saving. He also highlights what he considers to be the gold standard in regenerative techniques, and discusses the factors which influence his decision to save a tooth or not.

We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team

Full Conversation (12.29")

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Paul Belzycki August 11, 2020

    I understand that a bit of promotional salesmanship was at play with the title of this post; the need to “hook” a viewer/listener. My first thought on reading it was “here we go again…voices from the fringe, the children are at play”. Thankfully, Dr. Bhide did provide a balanced and acceptable answer. But even the playful posing of this question bothers me, because I know there are dentists out there that rush to the implant as a preferred treatment. The overarching question remains unanswered: “What motivates a dentist to recommend a particular treatment”?

    To be brief, I will define two diametrically opposed motives.

    One…what is best for the dentist? The criteria may include:
    -what is the dentist most comfortable doing?
    -their knowledge and skill set,
    -what materials are present in the office?
    -market pressures
    -patient demands
    -and finally, the level of remuneration.

    Two…what is best for the patient? Here, the criteria matches treatment to a patient’s physiological needs and psycho-social demands. Here also, technical skills and professional ethics are the driving factors.

    Every dentist would answer this question for themselves every day…whether they are conscious of it or not.


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