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Letter From Dear Doctor

Issue 37 of Dear Doctor Magazine

Oral Health Information You Can Trust

When you need to make an important decision, it’s wise to consult someone you trust—especially if it’s a decision about your health, or the health of someone you care about. That’s why Dr. Garry Rayant and I started Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine over a decade ago. Today, the “information superhighway” provides more health-related content than ever before; but with the prevalence of misinformation on the internet (rumors, “fake news” and dubious facts), there’s an even greater need for trustworthy sources.

For example, a quick internet search may turn up the (untrue) assertions that root canals are bad for your health (they aren’t), or that you can straighten your teeth at home with rubber bands (don’t try it!). But in the pages of this magazine and on, you’ll find a wealth of information you can rely on—written by experts in various fields of dentistry, and derived from evidence-based studies and clinical experience. You’ll also find first-person stories from dental patients about treatments you may be considering.

In this issue, we confront the myth that root canals cause disease and expose the discredited theories behind it. We also examine the question of whether it’s best to remove wisdom teeth before they begin causing problems, or to wait and see under careful observation.  And we look at whether dental savings plans can help you spend less on dental care—and how they compare with traditional insurance.

Why delve into these issues? Because ultimately, the healthcare consumer is responsible for his or her own treatment choices—and providing trustworthy information helps people make better decisions. For example, you may be wondering why your dentist recommends placing a stainless steel crown on a child’s tooth; whether there’s a link between fibromyalgia and a painful problem with the jaw joint (TMD); or how smoking affects gum disease. You’ll find answers to those questions and more right here.

Since dentistry is not only about good oral health but also about looking good, we explore some treatments that can enhance your appearance. These include lingual braces, which are virtually invisible, and direct veneers, which can give your teeth a whole new look in just a few hours.  Plus, we check in with figure skater Tara Lipinski, whose winning smile helped her glide through her debut as a primetime Winter Olympics commentator.

Today, as the practice of dentistry is rapidly evolving, the need for reliable information is greater than ever. And as always, Dear Doctor stands ready to meet the challenge and help you make the choices that are best for your health.


Mario A.Vilardi, DMD