A LIMERICK-based orthodontist has spoken of his concerns about people’s “surprisingly low” level of dental awareness.
Dr David Beckett, whose dental clinic operates out of Killoran House on Catherine Place, has expressed serious concern about the lack of care people show for their teeth.
“The majority of people don’t know much about their teeth at all and a lot of people don’t clean their teeth properly. Many have gum disease and they don’t know it, so the level of dental awareness is surprisingly low.
“I suppose, quite reasonably, people wouldn’t know too much about dentistry. One of the benefits of orthodontic treatment is that patients know a lot more about their teeth and how to look after them. They know how many teeth they have while the average person doesn’t even know how many teeth they’ve got,” Dr Beckett told the Limerick Post.
“They have very little to go on and they usually know that they want to see their teeth straight, but they don’t really know what’s involved in how to achieve that,” he added.
Dr Beckett also claimed that, in some American states, people value orthodontics more highly than kidney treatment, as evidenced by state funding. He added that orthodontic treatment is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, although people can underestimate the length of time that goes into an orthodontic operation.
“We all like to be told what we want to hear, that it’s not going to take very long, you won’t be able to see the brace and your teeth will stay straight forever. Unfortunately that’s not the reality of the situation.
“A lot of the treatments that we do take a while because of the nature of orthodontic treatment. The teeth can only move when the bone is moved and moving bone is quite a slow process, so the length of treatment is going to be determined by how much and how fast the bone moves,” he explained.