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Dentists and Tooth Care: Conflict of Interest?

Here we have a group of people handsomely paid to address tooth damage, telling us how to prevent tooth damage.

Problem? I think so judging from the butter churn approach the whole industry takes.

I can think of a few ways we could approach the problem and annihilate tooth pain almost entirely.

I grow weary of dentistry apparently refusing to think and act outside the box. Seriously, dental ‘advances’ to me are anachronistic at best. It’s like seeing a “high tech” wash board.

Here are just a few alternatives off the top of my head.

Now I realize I’m not an expert, and some of these may be invalid at the moment, but to dismiss them out of hand is premature given the potential.

1. A gene therapy or drug that tells the body to shed our teeth and grow a new set.

2. A drug which causes the teeth to fall out, so they can then be replaced.

3. A substance that can be applied at home to fill cavities.

4. A substance that actually rebuilds enamel.

5. Custom tooth replacement. MRI/CAT, CAD, Carve, Swap. (water cutter/prototyper machine to carve the tooth out of titanium, and then color it white, with laser surface manipulation)

6. A locally acting neurotoxin that can kill a given tooth’s nerve without destroying its blood supply. And please don’t tell me what I should or should not want, that’s a separate issue.

7. At home sealants or permanent sealants.

8. Custom plaque feeding symbiotic bacteria.

9. A super toothbrush.

10. A hundred other things I haven’t even thought of.

It’s 2009, and we have custom goats that make spider silk, and the best our dentists can do is needles and drills? We can swap out a person’s face/heart/liver, and defeating cavities is beyond us?

Why has nothing like this been attempted? If it has why did it fail? Money?

Could it be because if they approached the question with the goal of actually answering it once and for all one time preventative measures would destroy a multi billion dollar industry?

My tooth hurts as we speak, and I cannot afford to pay my local sadistic/extortionist.

The fact that teeth even have nerves is just about the most asinine thing about the human body in my opinion, other than the fact that we don’t grow new parts when old ones are removed.

Come on, we make tools capable of literally shredding steel, we can do better.

Edit: The first sense of this post was placed in a forum for student dentists, the reaction was shocking. Here is a link,

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=4863519

It also led to a debate challenge, where in two member of the board followed me to harass me further, one of them actually is an adult established employed doctor of dental surgery.

http://www.debate.org/debate/8262/

The debate he has as of this writing failed to accept or decline, is located here.

http://www.debate.org/debate/8288/

He has stated he will not participate.

Updated: May 4, 2010 — 9:53 am
  • Justin

    I read the forum page where they bashed you for what you said. There is nothing wrong with expecting better results from medical care. Nothing at all! All those ideas you listed above are a great place to start in terms of thinking outside the box. I know for a fact the entire dental industry, much like any other industry is in it for helping people and for the money. I mean, let’s face it, most dentists or surgeons wouldn’t be in their position unless they knew it was a “successful” industry to get into in the first place. To deny that money or any type of monetary gain isn’t a prime motivator (if not /THE/ prime motivator) is just an outright lie. I’m not saying they’re not in it to help people too. While those students may not have been the ones you should have addressed your issue with, I do think they over reacted and when I see something like this, I really start to take a second look at the original comment that started the whole forum trolling/bashing of another commenter. In this case, it was your comment that seemed to ruffle their feathers. I don’t believe people act fairly or appropriately in groups. They often act like mobs. “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

    I couldn’t agree more that I wish dental care/surgery/damage prevention was cheaper, less painful and more convenient than it is currently. It is inevitable that the rate at which people require dentists these days will dramatically reduce over the next 50 years. Technology is getting better and truthfully, we are at the forefront of this techno-wave. This will mean that dentists will come far few inbetween as greater advancements in dental damage prevention are released. I also concur with you about your thoughts on the evolution of human teeth and why they have to have nerve endings. Surely, Mother Nature could come up with something better. I do also believe that a lot of products that are made in this field of reducing dental visits does, in the end, put a small dent in the industry (small being an overstatement, probably). Nevertheless, people flock into dentist offices by the dozens. Great advancements have NOT been made and it’s only a reasonable step to question why. Those students on that forum, like most others, don’t have the mental power and creativity required for that type of critical thinking that you presented without resorting to bashing. After all, we’re not discussing whether or not God exists. If anything, they should be agreeing with you because you take the position of the person wanting cheaper and easier dental care and why shouldn’t they want the same thing? They said they wanted to help people! Oh, I get it, they only want to help people as long as they’re being paid for it. Truth is, they don’t want to help you because people are inherently selfish at their core and this is just an inevitable realization of the psychology of humans. In fact, almost everything someone does can be traced back to self gratifying aspects in some way or another. Only average “sheep” don’t see this. Also, “The answer to 9 out 10 questions is always money”. Without people like you with cavities, they’re out of a job. No offense to them, but I just call it like I see it. They want to be rich (who doesn’t?), they want to drive the most expensive BMW (who wouldn’t?) and they want to pull into their home with a 200ft driveway with swining security gates (sounds nice!). You can’t blame them for being vicous, after all, it’s this hunger for money that is the most contributing factor to our countries success or failure. Catch 22. To sum it up, I honestly do see the conflict of interest when you bring money between you and your provider or physician.

    Btw, there are at-home remedies for curing tooth pain. I’ve had a couple surprise cavities and rinsing with WARM water and lots of iodized salt then gently spilling it out your mouth (not spitting it), then a brief warm water rinse with no salt, really reduces the pain and the swelling for 10 minutes. It’s a last resort plan when I can’t get to the dentist fast enough. The salt may cost you a dollar. I tell you this because, unlike others, I TRULY do care about other peoples pain without the need to get rich off it. Especially dental pain because for males, it is probably the worst pain you will ever have.

  • Justin

    I read the forum page where they bashed you for what you said. There is nothing wrong with expecting better results from medical care. Nothing at all! All those ideas you listed above are a great place to start in terms of thinking outside the box. I know for a fact the entire dental industry, much like any other industry is in it for helping people and for the money. I mean, let’s face it, most dentists or surgeons wouldn’t be in their position unless they knew it was a “successful” industry to get into in the first place. To deny that money or any type of monetary gain isn’t a prime motivator (if not /THE/ prime motivator) is just an outright lie. I’m not saying they’re not in it to help people too. While those students may not have been the ones you should have addressed your issue with, I do think they over reacted and when I see something like this, I really start to take a second look at the original comment that started the whole forum trolling/bashing of another commenter. In this case, it was your comment that seemed to ruffle their feathers. I don’t believe people act fairly or appropriately in groups. They often act like mobs. “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

    I couldn’t agree more that I wish dental care/surgery/damage prevention was cheaper, less painful and more convenient than it is currently. It is inevitable that the rate at which people require dentists these days will dramatically reduce over the next 50 years. Technology is getting better and truthfully, we are at the forefront of this techno-wave. This will mean that dentists will come far few inbetween as greater advancements in dental damage prevention are released. I also concur with you about your thoughts on the evolution of human teeth and why they have to have nerve endings. Surely, Mother Nature could come up with something better. I do also believe that a lot of products that are made in this field of reducing dental visits does, in the end, put a small dent in the industry (small being an overstatement, probably). Nevertheless, people flock into dentist offices by the dozens. Great advancements have NOT been made and it’s only a reasonable step to question why. Those students on that forum, like most others, don’t have the mental power and creativity required for that type of critical thinking that you presented without resorting to bashing. After all, we’re not discussing whether or not God exists. If anything, they should be agreeing with you because you take the position of the person wanting cheaper and easier dental care and why shouldn’t they want the same thing? They said they wanted to help people! Oh, I get it, they only want to help people as long as they’re being paid for it. Truth is, they don’t want to help you because people are inherently selfish at their core and this is just an inevitable realization of the psychology of humans. In fact, almost everything someone does can be traced back to self gratifying aspects in some way or another. Only average “sheep” don’t see this. Also, “The answer to 9 out 10 questions is always money”. Without people like you with cavities, they’re out of a job. No offense to them, but I just call it like I see it. They want to be rich (who doesn’t?), they want to drive the most expensive BMW (who wouldn’t?) and they want to pull into their home with a 200ft driveway with swining security gates (sounds nice!). You can’t blame them for being vicous, after all, it’s this hunger for money that is the most contributing factor to our countries success or failure. Catch 22. To sum it up, I honestly do see the conflict of interest when you bring money between you and your provider or physician.

    Btw, there are at-home remedies for curing tooth pain. I’ve had a couple surprise cavities and rinsing with WARM water and lots of iodized salt then gently spilling it out your mouth (not spitting it), then a brief warm water rinse with no salt, really reduces the pain and the swelling for 10 minutes. It’s a last resort plan when I can’t get to the dentist fast enough. The salt may cost you a dollar. I tell you this because, unlike others, I TRULY do care about other peoples pain without the need to get rich off it. Especially dental pain because for males, it is probably the worst pain you will ever have.

  • Justin

    Addendum: I also find personal gratification if the remedy I suggested works for you, especially if you repost with the results. I can’t lie and say I didn’t give you that remedy for selfish reasons but I also didn’t lie when I said I care.

    I should have used spell checker first. I hate being sloppy. Oh well.

  • Justin

    Addendum: I also find personal gratification if the remedy I suggested works for you, especially if you repost with the results. I can’t lie and say I didn’t give you that remedy for selfish reasons but I also didn’t lie when I said I care.

    I should have used spell checker first. I hate being sloppy. Oh well.

  • Scott

    You’re an idiot.

  • Scott

    You’re an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    @Scott

    Even if I were that would not alter the validity of my claims.

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    @Scott

    Even if I were that would not alter the validity of my claims.

  • Pingback: Underlore » Blog Archive » May All Dentists Burn in Hell. (If there were a Hell.)

  • http://www.lk010.info ThughjagoTomo

    ты это себе напоминаешь?

  • http://www.lk010.info ThughjagoTomo

    ты это себе напоминаешь?

  • Impartial-Observer

    I think you should write an article on forum moderators as well as the forum subculture in general. I’ve had my fair share of run ins with moderators and generally cannot stand them or their little power trips they have as well as their ability to insure that they get the “last word” in a discussion.

    PS: I suspect that you might fit this archetype: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/tirelessrebutter.htm

  • Impartial-Observer

    I think you should write an article on forum moderators as well as the forum subculture in general. I’ve had my fair share of run ins with moderators and generally cannot stand them or their little power trips they have as well as their ability to insure that they get the “last word” in a discussion.

    PS: I suspect that you might fit this archetype: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/tirelessrebutter.htm

  • Impartial-Observer

    Well, a mixture between that and this anyway: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/philosopher.htm

  • Impartial-Observer

    Well, a mixture between that and this anyway: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/philosopher.htm

  • Anonymous

    I’ve thought about it. And I have in specific cases. But as for a general work I’m too close to the issue to be rational. I grew up online. I know them to well and hate them for it. Besides they are just a facet of the human condition, power the need to manufacture it, the need to subjugate people even when there is no point, no justification excepting the ones invented for the purpose.

    And you’re right, Tireless rebutter is me. Though unlike the archetype, I do know exactly why I am loathed. As to whether or not I am the Philosopher, I’ll have to let history judge. Certainly that is the goal, but while I have a monstrous ego, it depends on intellectual honesty and so I can’t say “yup that’s me” just because I want to. Though as a point of evidence my posts are often larger than context would normally expect.

    I respond to everything I can, I consider it a gesture of respect to myself and those willing to put the time into a reply. Positive or negative. I cut my teeth debating religion effectively before blogs existed, and well before Dawkins put my arguments (not that I discovered them, though I will claim independent invention) on the sides of buses. And if I can deal with those fanatics I should be able to deal with anyone. Assuming I put in the effort, which I freely admit I don’t always do.

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    I’ve thought about it. And I have in specific cases. But as for a general work I’m too close to the issue to be rational. I grew up online. I know them to well and hate them for it. Besides they are just a facet of the human condition, power the need to manufacture it, the need to subjugate people even when there is no point, no justification excepting the ones invented for the purpose.

    And you’re right, Tireless rebutter is me. Though unlike the archetype, I do know exactly why I am loathed. As to whether or not I am the Philosopher, I’ll have to let history judge. Certainly that is the goal, but while I have a monstrous ego, it depends on intellectual honesty and so I can’t say “yup that’s me” just because I want to. Though as a point of evidence my posts are often larger than context would normally expect.

    I respond to everything I can, I consider it a gesture of respect to myself and those willing to put the time into a reply. Positive or negative. I cut my teeth debating religion effectively before blogs existed, and well before Dawkins put my arguments (not that I discovered them, though I will claim independent invention) on the sides of buses. And if I can deal with those fanatics I should be able to deal with anyone. Assuming I put in the effort, which I freely admit I don’t always do.

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