What is a good dentist ?


This is a question I always keep in mind in order to meet the expectations of my former patients.

I believe in ongoing education and improvement because we all can improve, it is not a matter of age but a matter of motivation.

So in my opinion, a good dentist should be first and foremost able to listen to patients, listen to their concerns and their questions. I really want to underline the word: Listen.

We don’t listen any more, we think we do but in fact we only listen to people partially because we want to be quick, but at the end of the day, we end up wasting time because we did not take the time to carefully listen and understand our patients’ issues.

A good dentist should be trustworthy and ethical. I mean I know we all need to earn our living, no doubt about it, but I believe we can also earn money by being honest and ethical. We don’t need to advise several dental procedures if they are not necessary for the patient’s sake. I know some of my fellow dentists forget they treat patients not wallets or bank accounts.

A good dentist should also keep his dental knowledge up to date by pursuing continuing education, attending conferences, seminars so to be able to propose the best treatments and the latest techniques provided they are safe and have proven their efficacy.

A good dentist should be careful and gentle to make the procedures as painless and comfortable as possible. That is what I like to call the dentist’s gentle touch. A dentist should also be able to put patients at ease, by creating a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere.

I also strongly believe in patient involvement, a good dentist should explain all the options and all the steps of the dental treatment and involve the patient as much as possible. If a patient understands what we expect from him or her in terms of oral care, or maintenance following a treatment, then he or she will be even more compliant and stick to the rules for their own sake.

All in all, a good dentist should maybe just treat patients as if they were friends or relatives…. 🙂

We shouldn’t even be talking about it because that should be the only way to be but we all know how far we can be from the reality….

Don’t be afraid of dental implants


One of the most dreaded dental procedures is the dental implant surgery. Patients are usually already quite scared to visit their dentist, but it is even worse when they are about to get dental implants….

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are actually a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. They are screwed into the jawbone and will behave almost like a normal living tooth.

I agree it can look scary but what I can tell you is that most patients are usually very surprised at the end of the surgery, because they almost felt nothing.

The dental implant process is quite simple and has a 90% success rate with careful prior planning and assessment of your jaw situation. By the way, if your dentist doesn’t take some time to check your jaws, your teeth to carefully plan the surgery then you’d better run…

Is it painful?

I told you implants are screwed into the jawbone; the mere idea of the process might give you goose bumps. But keep in mind that as for any surgical procedure, you will be sufficiently numbed and you won’t feel any pain.

Dentists are better and better at making this procedure as comfortable and painless as possible with fewer and fewer side effects: that is what I like to call the benefits of modern dentistry which tends to focus on avoiding any pain during the dental procedures.

Why are Implants important to avoid bone loss?

When you lose a tooth, you are left with a gap that is surrounded by the other teeth of the area. Some of you might say: “so what? There is a gap, I can live with it, and it is no big deal….

Yes, it is just a gap at first sight but the thing is when a tooth and its root is lost, the jawbone area will start to shrink on account of lack of stimulation (chewing stimulates your jawbone, the tooth loss leads to a loss of stimulation) so the other teeth will begin to move and will gradually shift towards the missing space, so they start to be loose and crooked… This bone loss may also affect your bite and your speech in the long run…It all started with a simple tooth loss though….

What is the implant procedure?

The dental implant process is quite simple with different steps: it is usually a 3 step procedure but depending on some situation, you could have a 2 step or 1 step procedure.
The 3 steps are: the implant placement, the abutment placement and the crown placement…The whole process takes about 6 months.
I usually recommend the 3 step procedure to let your tissues, bones heal. This is the safest option in my opinion. Why do you want to speed up the process if it increases the likeliness of issues…? But I agree, you usually want to get them done as quickly as possible for obvious practical reasons, so just be sure to discuss what you want with your dentist and what can be done without taking too much risk.

How much implants cost?

Like many things, you need to take into account many factors that will influence what dental implant costs. The prices will indeed depend on the dentist’s experience, the type of implant and procedure, the number of teeth you need to be replaced.
A single tooth implant typically costs $1,000 to $4,000. If additional procedures are required, the price can easily jump to $5,000 to $10,000.
If your budget is a bit tight, there are a few ways to get cheaper implants that are worth checking. Check the package promotions, the dental school offers or dental tourism with cheaper prices in some other European countries…
Of course, whatever route your choose, remember to consult several dentists to get different quotations. Take your time to compare the offers, the packages, talk to the dentists, the patients if any in the waiting room, weigh the pros and cons, it is worth taking the time to find a skilled dentist for implants that should last a lifetime… It is a bit time consuming but your teeth are worth it.

How to choose a toothbrush?


As a former dentist, I can’t help warning my grandchildren against bad oral hygiene, I keep telling them how a good oral hygiene is important for their dental health. Every time I see them for holidays, I would tell them that using a good toothbrush is mainly the best way to keep their teeth healthy, let alone their gums. Yep, healthy habits start at a very young age 😉

But even if you know how important it is, how can we choose the best toothbrush? It is not an easy task with so many different types to choose from. I know most my patients were a bit confused and would usually pick the first one they would find…

Here are the main characteristics to check when choosing a toothbrush, whether it be manual or powered.

Size: you want your toothbrush to be able to reach all surfaces of your precious teeth, so make sure your toothbrush head is small enough to do so, meaning the average size should be half-inch wide and one inch tall. Of course, if your mouth is bigger or smaller, you will choose your toothbrush accordingly so to be able to clean easily the sides and backs of your teeth.

Bristle type: you probably know there are 3 main bristle types: soft, medium and hard nylon bristles. For most of my patients, I usually recommend the soft bristled type because most of us (and I also do) usually brush our teeth too vigorously, which could damage your gums and your teeth. So even if medium and hard bristled brushes are available, please stay away from them. I know it can sound a bit strange, but I do think those medium and hard bristled brushes are pretty “harmful” and tend to lead to dental issues in the long run…. Of course, it somehow is good for the dental industry…

Approval: make sure your toothbrush has also been approved by the ADA (the American dental association) which will ensure you picked a quality toothbrush. The ADA seal of approval helps you to recognise products that are safe, efficient… (It helps 😉 )
It will ensure for example that the bristles of your disposable toothbrushes won’t fall out under regular brushing conditions or that your powered toothbrush has proven to be safe for use inside your mouth….

Remember that if you still are a bit lost; feel free to ask your dentist for recommendation.

What is proper dental care ?


We all know the bad effects of poor dental care that range from cavities to gingivitis and tooth loss. Yet, most of us don’t really commit to cleaning our teeth correctly and regularly. And as in most cases, we usually underestimate the risk of dental issues and only pay attention to our teeth once problems occur.
So repeat after me the old saying: prevention is better than cure…

Why is it important to clean your teeth?

Well in a nutshell, simply because your mouth is full of bacteria that needs fuel to create cavities.The carbohydrates in your food and drinks, that are “stuck” between your teeth, provide that energy, so the more food “left” in your mouth, the more risk of holes from these bacteria. Another way to prevent decay is of course to limit sugary foods.

So what is the recommended dental care routine?

• Brush your teeth after each meal if possible to remove forming plaque
• Replace your toothbrush regularly to ensure maximum effectiveness (usually every 3-4 months)
• Use dental floss and mouthwash to remove plaque and food debris hard to reach with your toothbrush.
• Visit your dentist at least once a year for a complete check up (cleaning and assessment)

Don’t wait till you get cavities to clean correctly your teeth. I know it can be a bit annoying but it doesn’t take much of your time. You will increase your chances of keeping your teeth for a lifetime and also reduce your risk of developing gum problems. A small effort for big rewards in the long run…

You will thank me later 🙂