One of the great things about the internet is our ability to learn. The amount of information available online is mind-blowing, and it can be a huge benefit for those who want (or need) to figure out how to do something that we don’t already know how to do. Whether it’s how to change the brakes on your car, how to re-wire a light switch, how to fix a squeaky spot in your floor, or what you need to know to pick up a new hobby, the internet is a great resource. Of course, you can’t believe everything you see online, and just because you saw someone else who did it on the internet, that doesn’t mean you should do it too.
First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that some of the people you see online are truly experts in their field who have a significant amount of training in their field. While these may be great ways of learning about a topic, it’s important to remember the difference between our own level of expertise and that of the person we’re watching online. Let me give you a great example. Dr. Shank has invested a significant amount of time training in the field of dental implants, oral surgery, bone grafting, etc. We’ve also invested significant capital in technology the allows us to ensure comfortable predictable results with dental implants. We encourage people to learn about the procedure, and you can even watch videos online of how dental implants are placed, including a video where a dentist extracts his own tooth, places a dental implant & bone graft, and sutures himself up. While I personally wouldn’t endorse doing certain procedures on yourself (even with training), keep in mind that just because you saw it online doesn’t mean you should do it yourself.
Of course there are people on the other side of the experience & training fence as well. There have been a variety of do-it-yourself instructional dental videos that have been popping up online. A quick search on YouTube comes up with a woman who advocates that she can ‘fix’ cavities in her teeth using colloidal silver and a diet rich in calcium, a variety of people extracting their own teeth with a smattering of tools from the toolbox in the garage, and even a college student in New Jersey utilizing a commercial grade 3D printer owned by the university to make a set of aligners to straighten his teeth. Now first of all, the results of these treatments are questionable to say the least, and the list of potential complications is extensive. I’ve personally seen patients for follow-up after they have attempted to fix a tooth/toothache who have caused problems with their at-home treatments that didn’t go so well. Whether it’s a piece of the tooth that didn’t come out, a DIY fix that doesn’t look quite right, or an at-home repair that covered up an underlying problem rather than fixing it (or even makes the problem worse), it’s really better to seek the advice of a professional who is well-trained and knows what they’re doing.
Not sure if the problem you’re having requires you to see your dentist? See something online that sounds too good to be true? Give us a call or click the ‘Contact’ link above and send us a message!
PS - The video of the lady who was trying to fix her cavity with silver and calcium? Her video ends with the disclaimer “Don’t come crying to me if you try this and all of your teeth fall out.” Hopefully that disclaimer gives viewers enough pause to reconsider following her recommendations.