The obvious goal of medicine is to preserve health and minimize disease.
This is also called prophylaxis (a combination of Latin and Greek words dating almost 200 years in the past). How efficient is medicine today in doing that?! Quite efficient considering that the average human lifespan has more than doubled in the last 100 years. Insurances do have a beneficial impact by enabling access to necessary medical procedures otherwise too expensive to afford on everyday basis.
How do the present and future look like from the perspective of medical care?
In the past, medicine was concerned more with repairing and healing. Nowadays, we are more concerned with the preservation of function and structure for as long as possible. Given the considerably longer lifespans and the latest knowledge, methods and diagnostic tools available today, reactive medical care is considered unacceptable. Instead, proactive prophylaxis and individual risk management are the keys in health preservation. A total body approach is the new approach of the healthcare prevention systems. In other words, the focus on modern medicine is on early systemic diagnostics.
How do insurances fit in the picture?
Insurances, by definition, are reactive systems, protecting against damage and enabling expensive repair. An overhaul in their structure is necessary to shift focus from procedure to diagnostics. This will also have an impact on the medical educational system. Doctors will be trained to “stay” more in the diagnostics mode and understand patients better rather than quickly jump into “symptomatic treatment”. In insurance “talk”, procedures are the ones to be paid while diagnostics is inclusive, therefore shifting importance away from systemic diagnostics to limited procedural treatments, sometimes only symptomatic (palliative). With the development of computerized medical technologies, the amount of diagnostic data has increased exponentially requiring even more attention and effort in correctly interpreting the true root of the problems. Diagnostics and risk management have never been more important than today and the healthcare systems need to quickly adapt to the new medical standards.
What can you do about it?
“Don’t get hung up on HOW until you know WHY!”
Ask your doctor first Why health has been compromised and only afterwards How can it be fixed. In the medical profession, we “See only what we know and treat only what we see”. It is therefore critical to collect thorough diagnostic data and take the time to see and understand big picture. The diagnosis is only one! Insist on your insurance to cover a thorough, interdisciplinary diagnosis and … don’t forget to get a second opinion.
Dr.-medic stom., D.D.S. (USA)
In sharing knowledge lies the power
of discovering new ideas
Information at the right time and related to the right question is invaluable, especially in medicine. It could mean the difference between restoring health by removing the cause or postponing health by addressing just the symptoms.
That is why, nowadays, doctors have to communicate as much as they treat patients. Having an informed patient as a partner in treatment has a distinctly positive effect on treatment efficiency, comfort, and permanency of results. Modern medicine is addressing the risk factors rather than the pathology, intercepting the disease in its early stages or even preventing its inception.
In my over twenty years of practicing dentistry, patients asked me many questions related to teeth, gums, chewing, smiling… A question is the perfect opportunity for discovery. Our job as doctors is not to tell patients what to do! It is to facilitate the next question so the discovery process can continue and together understand what it takes to restore as well as preserve Health.
From a multitude of patient questions, I selected a few, the most relevant in my opinion and I answered them based on the current stand of medical research. Today, I am excited to announce the first edition of my printed blog book – “A Collection of Blogs” – dedicated to everyone looking for answers or simply wanting to know more about oral health and the art of a beautiful smile.
First of all, Beauty lies within our perception. We experience it about others and we are very subjective when we evaluate ours. So the question is: how do we see others beautiful?! Tip: it is not only the looks.
“BEAUTY LIES WITHIN THE FITNESS OF PARTS IN MOVEMENT”
“THE ANALYSIS OF BEAUTY” – WILLIAM HOGARTH, 1753
In his 1753 book “The Analysis of Beauty”, William Hogarth outlined the principles lying at the foundation of visual aesthetics. It is not the individual details that matter but the way they “fit together while in movement – function”, the “variety”, “regularity”, “simplicity”, “intricacy” and only lastly “quantity”. In his analysis, an S-shape curve (serpentine line) is the ultimate reflection of beauty, exuding dynamism.
But this is just half of the story: aesthetic parameters in movement need a purpose. The most powerful human motivator is happiness. The emotion that “gives us wings” also makes us look more beautiful than we can ever imagine. From far away we can see happiness : rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, chin up and a big, big smile! Often hands rise up to touch the sky… We all know how it feels: it is grandiose. We are constantly on the pursuit of happiness and we have a fine eye for seeing it in others, perceiving them as beautiful. This has been also extensively researched with surprising results about the smile alone:
- Smiling happily makes us look more intelligent and attractive
- Smiling triggers additional release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin – the euphoria mediators
- The smile stimulates our brain reward system. A smile can generate the same brain stimulation as up to 2000 chocolate bars.
- Univ. Uppsala, Sweden found that is very difficult to frown while looking at someone who is smiling.
- … and the list can continue.
So, how we can we restore beauty?! Quite simple: in the heart and in the details that reflect what we feel – appearance. Do the smile, face, hair, skin tone need to be specifically designed to show happiness or the other way around: to communicate happiness?! Displaying happiness without the true inner energy is basically a cosmetic cover-up (a mask). Reflecting actual inner joy is much more powerful and does not require all aesthetic details to be perfect. We have a fine sense for detecting the difference: we can feel the energy / glow / character. Imperfect aesthetic parameters of the face and smile are seen more beautiful in the presence of emotion, being labeled as “character-carriers”. For instance, a fine balance between imperfection and apparent symmetry complements the aesthetics of a smile.
Can aesthetic medicine/dentistry help?! Only through restoring Health so the energy robbed by disease or dysfunction can then be transformed extrovertly into joy. All we have to do is restore the “fitness”, “function” and “intricacy” of the body; beauty is just a pleasant side effect of health and happiness.
Dr.-medic stom., D.D.S. (USA)
Occlusion – the way teeth come in contact with each other and the role it plays in the context of mouth/body health.