Roadtest: Oasis Dental | HerCanberra

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Roadtest: Oasis Dental

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Did you know your teeth are the only part of your body that can’t heal?

I didn’t. I have never really worried about my teeth… I never even floss (shh!). I had braces when I was a kid and I assumed that my dentist knew what he was doing, so a visit once every couple of years was enough to keep my teeth healthy. After a consultation with Oasis Dental, I realised I couldn’t be more wrong.

I arrived at their free information night unsure of what to expect, as I had never heard of a dentist educating the general public before. The staff offered us sushi and cold drinks before we gathered in the conference room to meet Dr Rick and Dr Liang for a 90-minute session.

Dr Rick explained the way that dentistry has become a commoditised profession, often resulting in a quick fix solution rather than long-term health. He also showed us what dentists actually do when it comes to restorative dentistry and preventative dentistry, the different kinds of fillings, and how to tell a well-designed filling from a bad one.

I learned that every time a dentist replaces an old filling with a new one they have to drill out on average an extra 20% of your tooth, which is why you definitely want your dentist to get it right the first time. Lots of people had questions, ranging from fear of the dentist’s drill to the cost of implants, and Dr Rick talked us through everything you could ever want to know about your teeth.

A consultation room at Oasis Dental.

A consultation room at Oasis Dental.

This was all news to me, but it made sense. Why are we so casual about what happens in our mouths? I mean, without functional teeth we wouldn’t be able to enjoy food, which is one of life’s great pleasures — not to mention an essential for living.

Dr Rick says he is trying encourage people to see their teeth to an essential part of their health that can be preserved, rather than the inevitable deterioration into crowns, tooth extraction and implants. But of course, high-quality porcelain fillings and crowns are more expensive than the cheaper and lower quality composite resin or silver amalgam. That’s where Oasis Dental’s fixed price payment plan comes in, but more on that later.

When I got home from the information session I couldn’t stop lecturing my friends about all the ways their teeth could have been damaged: gum disease, composite resin fillings that trap food, silver amalgam fillings that expand and can eventually crack the tooth they are meant to be fixing…

By the time my consultation with Dr Rick came around, I had exhausted everyone’s patience for dentist-related horror stories.

The starting point of my consultation was to get photos and x-rays of my teeth so Dr Rick could come up with a treatment plan and explain exactly what was going on inside my mouth. This only took a couple of minutes, and then I was able to see on four huge screens my teeth compared with an example of what teeth in perfect health at my age look like. I had already had one filling, and Dr Rick pointed out that the resin was leaking around the edges and the way the shape of the filling was difficult to clean. It could be improved by inserting a replacement porcelain filling.

The reception at Oasis Dental

The reception at Oasis Dental

The biggest surprise was that I was grinding my teeth in my sleep! That could be fixed by wearing an occlusal splint at night, which is kind of like a mouth guard.

Dr Rick was pleased that my teeth were in reasonably good shape apart from the grinding and so I’d just need one appointment and regular check ups; however, for those who need more restorative dental work he offers a fixed price payment plan.

What does this mean? The plan includes one four-hour appointment per year, follow-ups with a dental hygienist, and a guarantee of his work for as long you are his patient. As Dr Rick explained, the plan grew out of his desire to make teeth healthy, rather than selling as many hours of his services as possible.

I have to say, that I never expected to be excited about dental health… but my experience with Oasis Dental not only armed my with a whole lot of information and an incentive to be informed and proactive, if left me with a burning desire to start flossing! It’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill dental experience, and that can only be a good thing.

Find out about the next Oasis Dental free information night here:

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