Oral health and dental self care at home (for myself specifically)

In terms of upkeep of my own teeth. My own regime for myself specifically now includes (Outcomes will be different for other people)…

  • Avoid snacking. If I do, thoroughly rinse immediately after.
  • Gently brush and floss after every meal, paying particular attention to the back teeth.
  • While toothpaste is still on the teeth and before rinsing, thoroughly lick around the front of your teeth and gums.
  • Spit out excess tooth paste, Leave the tooth paste on teeth for ~10 minutes prior to rinsing.
  • Salt water rinse at the end of each day.
  • Hygienist clean half yearly.

The above regime has stopped gums bleeding and markedly reduced the incidence of both gum abscesses and mouth lesions. It is my feeling that any sort of food left on one’s teeth after say half an hour can be bad news for gums and teeth.

To be honest, Human teeth are just terrible “design” – the whole form in general with the many nooks and crevices is very prone to trapping food and consequently being the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. People blame modern diets and while that may be true in large part (fizzy drinks being especially bad), I think it’s also the fact that we live far longer than our ancestors.

Oral health and dental self care at home (for myself specifically)

Problems I have with the NZ Dental Care industry

Admittedly, I will state my general impression of the Dental Care industry in New Zealand as a patient overall is not at all high. To cut a long story short, feel that the Dentistry offering in New Zealand is poor, unduly expensive and technologically backward (Lacking access to newer technology and treatment procedures as available in other countries). Issues include…

  • Different dentists offering very wildly different assessments as to what does or does not need to be done in the same given week ranging from “Just needing a clean and watch that tooth”, right through to “OMG, you need 7 extractions!”
  • Some dentists in the past have been very insistent on extracting my wisdom teeth certain that it would eventually cause me great pain – the last such case of a dentist insisting I remove my wisdom teeth was 15 years ago and there still no pain.
  • Had another dentist insistent on extracting a previously root canaled tooth advising it will cause me pain. I declined. That was 12 years ago and the tooth is still there and can be chewed on to this day without issue.
  • Insisting that my mercury fillings be removed to be replaced with white fillings. Declined. Mercury/Amalgam fillings still good after 10 years. The problem I have with white fillings is that they are far less durable and have less ability to withstand heavy chewing forces and am not convinced that there is enough trace mercury leakage to really cause an issue.
  • Finding a dentist and a dental practice that doesn’t keep changing over almost every year I attempt to call in for an appointment appears to be increasingly difficult – Turnover within the industry is phenomenal.
  • I also believe that the technology and techniques available here in New Zealand are quite bluntly increasingly outdated and behind the times in terms of the procedures being offered and accessible elsewhere in the world particularly in terms of gum / periodontal treatments.

As of mid June 2022, For now, have settled on using a newer Dental practice out in Ormiston for the more straightforward stuff (half yearly cleanings) as they appear to be more conservative and reasonably priced.

See also my own specific home care routine.

Problems I have with the NZ Dental Care industry

Noble Dental Remuera Patient review (Initial Consultation only)

Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2022: Originally posted on 23rd October 2021, this purely represents my genuine, non-professional, and personally held opinion as a (one off consultation) patient to Noble Dental Remuera and no one else’s.

Self referred to Noble Dental Remuera on October 2021 to check out a loose tooth and find a new dental practice (after the closure of the dental clinic I used to attend). Review is for the initial consult only and is not reflected nor indicative of their treatments (which I have not undertaken)

Noble Dental staff were generally professional and friendly while following COVID safe guidelines throughout the appointment. Charged 495 NZD for the exam and panoramic X-ray which appears to be in line with what other periodontists in the Auckland Area charge.

I am not sure I necessarily entirely agree with the overall diagnosis. Came away feeling like they made out my overall dental health was in a pretty bad way, may be it is. Yes, Noble Dental are regarded as specialists and claim to be able to detect issues earlier. They suggested any treatments they do for me would be “a gamble” in my situation.

Quoted over ~7000 for cleaning treatment (incl. perioscopy) which may be what it is for specialist treatment.

Considering I originally self referred and while agree that my overall oral health is definitely not the best it could be, It’s just strange none of the other dentists / dental care practitioners (in my search of a new dental practice to routinely attend) I’ve seen recently alluded to the extent of my dental health any where near to the the same level. It certainly very possible there is widespread gum disease in the general population that is going undiagnosed despite regular check ups.

Asked for clinical notes which they agreed to supply, though did have to chase this up a number of times with Noble Dental Remuera. This was eventually supplied to me in condensed form after a month with to their credit a profuse apology for their delay.

As a side note, two reviews coincidentally or otherwise were originally found made by a “Public relations for local dentists” person. Long story short, the PR person in question insisted that the relationship was genuinely patient/dentist and offered to show me his invoices, the PR person then back pedalled with a curious story after I accepted to sight these along with his reviews disappearing.

As advised this is a personal opinion only as a patient / layman and is in no way intended to throw shade on Noble Dental in any way nor any of their expertise. However, have since settled elsewhere for regular check ups / cleaning treatment.

See also a post detailing My general impression of the Dental care industry in New Zealand

Noble Dental Remuera Patient review (Initial Consultation only)