Today, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed, a flashy advertisement for a do-it-yourself ultrasonic tooth scaler brought itself to my attention. The animated images promised shiny clean teeth, all in the comfort and convenience of your own bathroom.
This latest gadget really comes as no surprise in world that places less and less value on specialist knowledge and skill. It follows closely on the heels of do-it-yourself tooth examination kits, do-it-yourself tooth bleaching sets with lights, and do-it-yourself tooth impressions for do-it-yourself invisible aligners. Apparently there are people giving You Tube lessons on how to perform your own tooth fillings and extractions.
Who needs a dentist, right?
The personal risk taken with the use of these products is extraordinary. I can only grimly anticipate the gum lacerations, abscesses and enamel damage that will ensue from DIY scaling. The chemical/light burns from the bleaching kits and tooth damage from DIY aligners have already emerged, to the alarm of dental professionals world wide.
In spite of the concern of dentists, there remains enthusiastic uptake for unproven products made by unknown and unaccountable vendors.
There is something about this trend that is deeply disturbing. It reveals a wilful defiance - not merely to dental healthcare providers and the regulated system under which they operate. . .
It signifies an extraordinary defiance to the value a person truly ought to place on their own wellbeing.
This value, when held highly, would never compromise itself to save a few dollars or avoid the time it takes to consult with a professional who can lend their skill and expertise to our care.
Health is precious, its value cannot be pinned down in dollar terms. This fact becomes poignantly evident when it is compromised in any way.
Our health is powerfully supported by the combined efforts of a group of people who are not only highly skilled in the art and science of healthcare, but whose purpose is to support us on the path to true wellbeing.