2 Blackstrap Road, Falmouth, Maine

The Trump Card

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For those of us that love to play cards, we know that in several card games the strongest card in the hand is a Trump card. Basically, it’s because it “Trumps” or beats all of the other cards. More often then not, a player may play the trump card before it is your turn, and it forces you to change your plans or your move in hopes that you don’t loose.

Life is often full of these “Trump” cards because whatever that trump may be, it forces you to change your move or your plan so you don’t loose. I use this term often in my dental practice with my patients. My hope is to help all of them keep their teeth a lifetime. However, either they often don’t hear me or choose not to listen, or other circumstances in their life force them to avoid suggested treatment, but eventually something will happen that forces their hand. It could be that a suspect tooth fractures, they develop an abscess or infection, old dentistry fails or pain develops from a previous suspicious lesion. Whatever it may be, the patient looks at me and now agrees it is time for treatment. I often just look at them with concern and state; “ The trump card has been thrown.” The worse thing I could say is; “I told you so. “ Because they already feel guilty enough or are worried enough to take care of the problem. They know that the trump has been thrown. The best course of action is to review what we had been concerned about, what happened, and now what are we going to do to fix it. The good news, with today’s dental treatment options, most anything can be fixed for full function and stable health.

I would like all of you to think about the various things in life we avoid that we should address because of excuses we talk ourselves into. It could be that diet, exercise, calling an old friend, dealing with finances, or maybe that suggested medical or dental treatment. But no matter what the avoidance may be, don’t wait for the Trump card to be thrown. It just makes life more worrisome, more difficult, and more stressful. So play the hand you have been dealt and watch out for those trumps.


About the Author
30 year practicing dentist in Falmouth, Maine. University of Michigan, B.S., D.D.S., Harvard GPR, Pankey Scholar