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‘Who is a dentist? ‘ The Wikipedia / dictionary meaning aside, most people associate a dentist as a person we go and see when we have a toothache.

If that’s how you think then I’m sorry to say but you live in an era of Nokia 1100 while the world has reached iOS 11.1!

I myself used to be in that era, so let me share a short story with you. In my pre-teens I had the same idea. Whenever I had a toothache, my mum would ask me to crush some cloves and place it near the tooth and if that didn’t help then pop a pain killer tab. Last line of defense was a dentist.

At 18 I got into dental school and in my first year I walked into our OPD for a routine check up. The intern lady told me I had 20 teeth with decay in them! 12 of them needed ‘fillings’ while other 8 could be maintained and follow a ‘wait and watch’ approach.

I walked out thinking ‘I haven’t had toothache in years! These kids are still learning.’ Such was my ignorance and arrogance that I was belittling the professional advice of a doctor with 5 years of knowledge while I had none!

In second year of dental school we studied that all those black lines on the tooth are in fact decay and are treated with fillings. If left unchecked they progress to ‘hole’ in tooth. If it turns painful then khallas and usually needs root canal treatment or else tooth removal. My first thought was ‘Gosh! I have 20 of those!!!’

Wallah habibi I took first available appointment with my professor. It took her 4 sessions of 2 hours each to do the needful and I can proudly say that its been 11 years since and I still stand at 12-8!

Thanks to the advice of the intern, hard work of my professor and some decent brushing on my end. Otherwise I’d be having 12 root canals today or maybe worse.

Old adage comes to the mind of PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.