Don’t find anything, Doc!

By far, it’s the most common greeting I get when entering a room to do a dental exam.

Besides finding things in your mouth that aren’t right, what we dentists do best is fixing them. You guys don’t like the fixing part, so it makes sense you’re not crazy about the finding part.

 No worries, mate. Anymore, I can’t find my car keys. Or, for that matter, sometimes even my car (hello, Wal-Mart parking lot). But I find I’m in good company: Most dentists my age are losing things left and right –waistlines, hairlines, and bifocals, to name a few.

Which is one reason many of us now wear loupes: weird-looking magnifying glasses that make teeth look 3 times larger than normal. Often, they’re equipped with headlights (the loupes, not the teeth). With that combination, even the sneaky needle in a haystack doesn’t stand a chance.

Still, whatever we find, remember this: They’re your teeth, it’s your mouth, it’s your decision what to do with them, and whatever you decide is right for you. Our primary job is simply to advise, and any dentist worth his or her salivary glands will tell you the very same thing.

At least that’s what I’ve found.