CONSTANTINOS LAGHIOS, D.D.S., M.S to agrinio-life
Interview with Ioulia Ioannou
Pain Clinic - Diagnosis - Root Canal Therapy
It is a great pleasure and honor, to communicate with an unknown, up to then, person, a great scientist and a fellow countryman and feel such ease and intimacy, as he makes you understand, in his way, why he is so highly esteemed by the people who have the honor to know him.
We are used to doctors that are unapproachable scientists, who only see us as patients, who keep us at distance and after the completion of our treatment all contact is lost, and we remember them only when some new medical need occurs.
Contrary to the above, Constantinos Laghios is first Human and then a Scientist! One can understand that right from the start, when they set foot in his ultramodern Clinic for the first time, where his primary concern is, as he always mentions, to offer high quality dental care services in a clean, welcoming environment, focusing on the effective treatment of the medical problem and on the patient’s safety.
The use of the state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, the fact that importance is given to details and his experience guarantee that high level medical services are offered.
Some of the very important achievements that are mentioned in the doctor’s CV are the following:
He has been an official guest speaker of the American Association of Endodontists. He has been awarded, so far, honorary titles for his contribution to the progress of Science and to the developments in the sector of Endodontics.
He is a member of the Dental Association of Athens and of the American Association of Endodontists.
He is the founder and president of the Greek Academy of Microscopic Dentistry.
Since 2007, he is a member of the GIDE/UCLA Scientific Team, and teaches in the Implantology post graduate training program.
He is a member of the Berlin oral implantology Master Program scientific team where he teaches in the Implantology post graduate training program. He is the scientific publisher of the Endodontics - Periodontics journal and a Founding Member of the Hellenic Association of Endodontists.
Let’s however try to get better acquainted with Dr. Laghios, who was born and grew up in Agrinio and is now one of the most distinguished scientists in the world in his sector.
-Tell us about your specialty, when must a patient visit you?
The Endodontics specialty is the sector that deals with the conservation of teeth in the mouth. What is widely known as root canal treatment or root resection, very often leads to the conservation of the affected tooth.
A patient must visit our clinic when he has the following symptoms:
1.Pain during chewing.
2.Spontaneous pain in a tooth or in an area of the jawbone with widespread pain.
3.Abscess (swelling) in a jawbone area or tooth.
4.Sensitivity to heat or cold.
5.Injury such as a broken tooth, avulsion, subsidence or fracture of the jaw in general.
6.In case of discoloration (blackening ) of a tooth after an injury or a root canal treatment when tooth whitening is needed.
7.In the last years the number of patients that visit the clinic for dental examination is constantly increasing.
Root canal treatment is performed when there is extensive tooth decay, in such a degree that the dental filling is impossible or risky to perform.
Extensive fillings are predisposing factors for dental fractures.
Despite the fact that modern dental restorative materials have a higher adhesive capacity, as well as higher resistance to chewing and functional forces, when the remaining dental tissues after the removal of decay or old fillings are not sufficient, a root canal treatment of the tooth must be performed. The installation of a post in the teeth roots must be many times performed in order for the teeth to withstand chewing forces.
Thus, the patients that visit our clinic are the ones that have extensive old fillings in their teeth, with cut-off edges and decay, or the ones that, due to old fillings, principally of amalgam type, have teeth with cracks which, if they remain, lead to dental fractures and finally to tooth extractions.
During the last years, principally due to the economic and social crisis we are globally experiencing, people have begun to grind and gnash their teeth, and thus the forces that are applied on the teeth are very high. This results to the fact that cracks occur, not only to teeth that have many fillings, but also to teeth with no fillings at all, and if the small cracks are not treated at an early stage they will become dental fractures, which would lead to tooth extractions.
If the patient visits the dentist immediately after the first symptoms, such as a minor sensitivity to chewing or a minor sensitivity and pain to a hot or cold stimulus, the affected tooth can be saved either through a root canal treatment or through a resin filling of the tooth after the removal of cracks.
-This is not a common specialty; are there endodontists in Greece, in general?
Indeed, endodontics is not a common specialty, such as oral and maxilofacial surgery, periodontics or prosthetics.
In Greece, there hs been a development of this specialty in the last year, mainly in the large cities, such as Athens and Thessaloniki.
Due to the fact that the percentage of failed root canal treatments is particularly high for dentists that are not very well trained in it, the specialty of endodontics is important and necessary, not only so that teeth are saved, but also so that Endodontists train their colleague dentists in new techniques, instruments and materials and the percentage of successful treatments performed by general dentists is also increased.
-I was quite struck by the fact, that you are interested in saving from extraction even the most affected teeth as well as eliminating pain and fear in your patients. Explain us a little, how can the treatment you follow eliminate pain?
Fear and pain are interconnected concepts in patients because it is quite logical that the one who is in pain is also afraid. Thus, the most important part of our work is to know quite precisely the mechanisms of inflammation and pain and have the appropriate equipment so that the treatment we can offer to our patients is the proper one in each separate case. The use of special microscopes, Laser ultrasounds, as well as the proper and principally the rational use of medicines is quite helpful in rapidly eliminating pain in our patients so that they can overcome their fear of the dentist and principally of the root canal treatment, which causes most of the fear as it has to do with pain and inflammations which, in extreme cases, can be dangerous even to the health of the patients.
-You have attended and participated in numerous scientific seminars, you have been official guest speaker at American Universities and I can understand that your knowledge on your specialty, keeps you always vigilant. Must a scientist always learn more in order to enrich his/her knowledge and improve his/her work?
A specialist must not only get informed and enhance his/her knowledge but also open new roads of treatment. In older days, with the development of specialties, each specialist interpreted a problem or treated a disease from the viewpoint of his/her specialty. This resulted to the fact that in some cases the treatment plan was not the correct one and that the treatment failed.
A specialist improves his/her work much more when his/her knowledge exceeds the narrow context of what he/she has been taught in his/her training program. Many times it is the combination of knowledge and techniques of other specialties that will lead to the correct treatment of a patient.
-Does your comfortable reception area, which is distinguished by its aesthetics and functionality, is more interactive and looks less as a dental clinic lobby, the completeness of scientific material, and the continuous research of your clinic, which have made it a worldwide pioneer regarding the development of Endodontics on a global basis, serve some other purposes, such as seminars, discussions and debates?
It is true that the reception area of our clinic is interactive as we offer to the patient the possibility to form a complete image of the treatment he/she will receive, since the means our clinic is equipped with, microscopes, video players, cameras, help the patient understand the treatment he/she will receive and participate in the treatment plan. Our associates in the clinic and other colleagues help us, so that we can offer a high quality treatment.
Furthermore our colleague dentists can monitor through the microscope and the cameras we have, the treatment we offer to their patients. This consists a unique learning experience for them, as they have the option of live monitoring of the solutions provided to their patients’ problems. Thus they can learn and find solutions to complex problems and deal with difficult situations. Furthermore we have the equipment for the live transmission of surgical procedures or simple operations in the large waiting room or even via satellite.
-What is your opinion regarding the health sector in Greece, do you believe that there are notable scientists in our country or most of them immigrate abroad due to economic problems, trying to find better working conditions and higher profits? For example, isn’t such a great investment as yours, as the cost of the special equipment of your clinic is quite high, as I gather, preventive for new scientists in their attempt to invest in our country?
There were, are and will always be notable scientists, because Greeks are efficient, hardworking and innovative. The cost of such an important equipment as the one of our clinic is extremely high for the state of the Greek economy and one can often feel frustrated, tired, sad because working conditions, in times when everything is in flux, are quite adverse and exhausting.
On the other hand, it is true that we work in an environment which sets an example even for large clinics abroad, which is encouraging and gives us strength and, most of all, we feel that it is worth when our patients greet us with gratitude for what is offered to them. This pleasure is unique even when it is repeated many times a day.
It would be ideal that the banks, the Greek state, or some institution would fund the creation of modern treatment clinics, but in our times where there are serious survival problems for many of our fellow men, this seems utopian. It is true that our country loses many brilliant people, because the working conditions in public hospitals and private clinics are not the ones that would help our young doctors cure our people. This consists a loss both for therapists and for patients. The Greek society is in an evolution course. I believe in Greeks and in the Greek spirit and also believe that, as our society has gone through many hardships, it should once again search for its identity. Greek society has not found its identity yet, however it is in the course of finding it. Just a few years ago, the main principle was how to make money easily. This idiotic psychology mentioned that it “takes brain, not brawn...”, and that we all should become cunning in order to make it. However these views are today overturned.
The ideas that young and older medical scientists should have, are the ones described in the Hippocratic Ethics, mentioning that moral is what gives pleasure to someone, makes them creative and has, in parallel, a positive impact on their associates and patients.