If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you may recall the race to make the fastest toothbrush ever. (If you don’t, here’s a recap ).
Now there seems to be a similar “speed stakes” going on in the wonderful world of dental implants, too.
No sooner had we published last week’s post on the number of serious injuries caused by dental implants , this turned up in our inbox:
Bear in mind that, despite all the hoopla about one-day implants, the norm is still to place them in stages, allowing weeks for healing between each surgery.
And placing implants is a surgical procedure. Can you imagine doctors advertising other implant surgeries by touting just how fast they can be done? Get a new hip in just one hour! Knee replacement surgery in mere minutes!
In this way, the stress on speed seems to reduce dental implants to a mere cosmetic matter, a surgery done with seemingly little concern for its impact on the rest of the body.
But not everyone is seduced by this approach. Just as “slow food” has come to be valued within a landscape dominated by foods of convenience, so, too, is “slow dentistry” coming to be valued by more and more people.
After all, a three-minute procedure of any kind isn’t just, as the marketing materials tell it, for the benefit of patients who believe they have better things to do with their time. The faster the dentist can do the procedures, the more patients they can see and the more money they can make.
In that scenario, patients can seldom be seen as the unique and complex human beings as they are – even as time  and a more comprehensive understanding of health and wellness  are what increasing numbers of people crave.
Recently, a married couple came in for their first exams and cleanings and were each happily surprised when Dr. V sat down to do their cleanings himself.
“You don’t use a hygienist for this?” they asked.
“No,” said Dr. V. “I like doing it myself. I like to get to know you better and to know your mouth better. Doing the cleanings myself gives me the opportunity to do both.”
Yes, we do dentistry differently here.