To me, Valentine’s Day is all about showering love on my husband and three beautiful children, flowers, and… root canals. Yes, really.

See, I strive to give my patients the best dental care I possibly can. And that’s why I advocate for root canals over extractions whenever possible.

I have personally lived through an unnecessary extraction.

This blog post is about a specific tooth story that transformed my life: my tooth story.

I’d spent my entire childhood in the dentist’s office. I was born without eight teeth, and by the time I was a senior in high school, I’d already experienced fillings, implants, bridges, veneers, grafts, and braces.

But after I graduated, I had a dental crisis of a new magnitude. I was experiencing terrible pain on my lower left side. It got worse and worse. And then, finally, I was told I needed to have the offending tooth extracted. 

Only after the procedure, I was still in pain! The clinician had extracted the wrong tooth. My healthy, uninfected tooth was gone.

Finally, I found myself in the office of an endodontist who correctly diagnosed me. He explained everything to me along the way, and performed a root canal on my cracked tooth.

My story made the endodontist I am today.

Like my endodontist who patiently explained every step of the procedure—and the why behind his recommendations—I want my patients to become empowered participants in their own dental health. I want them to feel they can advocate for their health, describe their pain in detail, and not be second-guessed along the way.

When you treat your patients this way, this shows respect for them. And on Valentine’s Day, I want to invite you to think about how interact with your patients (and what that means for your treatment plans). Saving teeth and improving outcomes requires you to be proactive and knowledgeable, but also for you to be a great listener.

Root canals give teeth a chance.

So let’s give teeth a chance! Who’s with me? Comment below to let me know how you are showing your patients and their teeth respect and love.

Have a great Valentine’s Day! Talk soon.