Now, we need to talk about an old out-of-date map that is still being used to determine standard treatments of the gums. In this map, which is nearly a 100 years old and based on limited knowledge from that long ago era, the disease changes in gum tissue are called defects. They are called soft tissue defects at first. When bone is involved, they are known as bony defects.
This old map is based on the most superficial observations, the gross visual changes in the gums. There is absolutely no recognition for the living, dynamic adaptations going on, the vast and perfectly orchestrated cellular, molecular/chemical, and quantum activities beneath the visual realm.Read More ...
These so-called defects are analyzed using a long, pointed, metal or plastic probing device that is calibrated in millimeters. This probe is stuck into the area between the gum and tooth. The vertical depth that you can reach is the diagnosis for disease. This large stick dictates the type and extent of treatment that is necessary.
It supposedly gives information on how long a tooth will last. The dental probe acts as judge, jury, and executioner for standard gum treatments. How deep it goes determines what the treatment will be and the likely outcome.
And as you know, from what we studied earlier, this method shows an utter disregard for biology. It is the grossest of all visual examinations. Such a tool does not nor cannot take into account any of the dynamic cellular, chemical, and quantum processes that we know are happening.
And yet, gum treatment has always been dictated by this probe and continues to be. The goal of most treatments is to minimize the depth of the gum tissue around teeth. These include some pretty extensive, expensive, invasive surgical procedures.
In the early years, the standard procedure involved simply lopping off the gums completely. It’s called gingivectomy. Another one was curettage, where the gum lining was completely scraped away.
A most popular surgical technique that lasted for many years involved surgically flapping the gums away and grinding and reshaping so-called bony defects.
In a still-popular surgery, gum flaps are cut away and assorted materials are stuck onto bone margins, trying to grow new bone along the edges.
Much of today’s gum treatment involves strong chemicals being squirted and inserted into the space between gum and tooth to act as temporary disinfectants.
Even lasers are being used at this location. I’m not sure what they are supposed to do. Poor lasers. This cool and expensive technology has tried to find a useful application for a long time. Damaging gum tissues with laser beams makes no sense, no sense at all.
And so, this old map of the territory, this gross visual interpretation of a much more complex event, represents a sad detour that dentistry is still using, unfortunately. Dentists really need to begin using a much better map, an accurate map.
But, enough of that. In the next lesson we will take a close look at the proper doctor/patient relationship.