Month: August 2014

What is Dental Calculus? Xray Radiograph Images of Dental Calculus

Dental calculus is a technical terms for calcified plaque around the teeth.  Initially, after we chew the food, there will be some leftover food debris around the teeth.  These food debris are whitish in color and they are also called plaque.  Overtime, if these food debris are not completely removed by toothbrushing, they can continue to adhere onto the surface of the teeth and slowly they will become hardened.  They become hardened because the calcium in the saliva will calcify these food debris and make them to become more resistent to removal.

Small amount of calculus are usually not detected visually.  They require dentist to use special dentist instrument to detect their presence if they are located within the gum pocket under the gumline.  Sometimes, if the calculus becomes big enough, it will show up in the xray radiograph image as white granules on the tooth surface.

 

Dental Calculus shown on Detanl Xray radiography image

Dental Calculus shows up on the dental Xray image. Notice the white solid on the surface of the tooth.

 

Dental Calculus Removed on Xray Radiograph Image

Dental Calculus has been completely removed. The surface of the tooth appears smooth

These calculus requires professional treatment for complete removal.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Cosmetic Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

Complete Smile Makeover Makes You More Youthful: A Case in Cosmetic Dentistry

I am going to demonstrate my recent cases on this patient who I completed the complete smile makeover.  This patient came in complaining that people does not like her teeth and think they are dirty.  She is an elderly lady who is relatively healthy with no major illnesses.  She has a few missing teeth and asks me what can be done to make her look better.  I evaluate and I offer her a complete smile makeover, which involves putting dental porcelain crowns and porcelain bridges for her upper teeth.

Complete Smile Makeover Before Photo

Before Photo

I first prepare a waxup model to show her how her final results may look like.  And then I have her to come back for another appointment for doing the bridge preparation on her teeth.  I design the bridge so that the final result will be harmonious to her facial features, her other existing teeth and her bite.

omplete Smile Makeover Wax Model

Wax Model Showing How the final results will look like

After the dental laboratory finished fabrication of the bridge, I have her come back for delivery appointment.  I will remove the temporary bridge and tryin the final permanent bridge.  I check for proper fitment, and evaluate the esthetics.  The patient said she is comfortable with the bridge and also is very satisfied with the estehtics.  I take the following photos showing her final results.

Complete Smile Makeover Final Result

Complete Smile Makeover Final Result

 

Comparing her initial photo and the “after” photo, we can see that her new bridge makes her smile more pleasant looking.  Because she is able to smile more, she appears to look more youthful.  This is a perfect example of how cosmetic dental treatment can make a person look more youthful, gains more confident and also have good teeth to enjoy good food.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Cosmetic Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

 

Prosthetic Knee / Hip Replacement and Dental Pre-cautions

There is actually no special pre-cautions regarding the type of dental procedures a person can receive after he/she had knee surgery.   However, for those patients who had total joint replacement, they are considered at risk for infection at the prosthetic site so dentist would require patient to take antibiotics prior to any dental treatment.  The antibiotics is generally 4 tablets of  amoxicillin (with each tablets containing 500mg), one hour prior to dental surgery.  Or if the patient is allergic to penicillin or any analog of penicillin, the dentist would require patient to take 4 tablets of clindamycin (with each tablet containing 150 mg, one hour prior to dental surgery.

 

 

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Dental Xray Image Can Show Carotid Artery Calcification

Dental panoramic xray images are taken to show the entire dental arch and the surrounding bone structure around the region.  It can show the sinus, jaw bone, and the nerve canals.  Sometimes, any abnormality can also be detected.  It is especially good at detecting any calcification in the soft tissue area, for example in the carotid artery around the head and neck area.  The calcification will appear as the white patch on one or both side of the neck area.

Many times these blockage goes undetected because patient does not feel any symptoms.  However, if the blockage is not treated, risk of stroke might occur.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Dental Xray Images — Categories and Applications

I am going to talk about different types of dental Xray images taken and their applications.  They can be broadly categorized as intraoral images and extraoral images.  Intraoral images are Xray images taken inside patient’s mouth and they includes periapical radiograph, bitewing radiograph, Full Mouth Series radiograph, and  occlusal radiograph.  The extraoral images are Xray images taken outside patients mouth and they include panoramic radiograph, cephalometric radiograph, and the 3D Cone-Beam Computed Tomography radiograph.

Periodontal Disease, Bone Loss, Dental Xray

Periapical Xray Image shows the entire tooth.

Periapical radiograph is the Xray image captured the entirety of teeth, and it is especially useful for seeing the bone structure around each individual tooth.  It is useful for detecting the root canal infection because if there is an infection, there is a darken area enveloping the tip of the root of the tooth.

 

 

Implant Bitewing Xray

Bitewing Xray image showing the ‘side” view of upper and lower teeth biting together.

Bitewing radiograph is the Xray image capturing the parallel view of teeth.  The bitewing radiograph is captured at the approximately 90 degree angle to the horizontal axis of the tooth.  A proper bitewing radiograph should clearly show the edge of each tooth and there should not be any overlapping of the two adjacent teeth in the image.  Because of the angulation, the edge of the tooth is the clearest and this allows for detection of tooth cavity at the contact area of the tooth with the adjacent tooth.  Bitewing radiograph is especially useful for clinician to diagnose any dental cavity in between two teeth because this area cannot be seen visually and only this type of radiograph allows clinican to “see” the dental cavity.

 

Dental Panoramic Xray radiograph imageThe Full Mouth Series radiograph is a complete set of radiograph for every teeth in a person’s mouth.  Typically it consist of 18 images in total, in combination of anterior periapical radiographs, posterior periapical radiographs and bitewing radiogaphs.  Usually dentist would take this FMX radiograph at the time of comprehensive examination for new patient.  And also dentist would update the FMX radiograph at every 3-4 years interval.

 

dental panoramic xray imagePanoramic radiograph is taken with the panoramic machine, in which the images are created by xray tube and sensors extraorally.  During the image capture, the xray tube and sensor will rotate around the patient’s head.  The xray tube will emit the xray and the sensor will record the xray.  As the sensor is rotated, different area of the oral cavity is reconstructed onto a 2D image.  This is good for showing the sinus, jaw bone, and overall dental condition of the patient.  Also, it is useful for oral surgeon to determine the location of the wisdom tooth in relation to the jaw bone, sinuses, the nerve canal and the adjacent tooth.

 

dental cephalometric xray imageCephalometric radiograph is the side view of a patient’s head area.  It shows the bone morphology, the position of teeth, and skeletal structure.  It is commonly used by the orthodontist for planning of orthodontic treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

dental cone beam computed tomography 3d image3D cone-beam computed tomograph is the 3D reconstructed view of head and neck area.  It is taken at a machine similar to the panoramic machine.  The Xray tube and sensor are also located extraorally and they too rotate around the patient’s head during image capture.  The major difference is that the resulting image is the 3D rendition of the patient’s face, showing the skeletal bone structure and the teeth.

 

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing General Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Periodontal Cleaning

Periodontal cleaning is a broad category of dental treatments for removing the disease-causing bacteria and toxins in the periodontium in a person’s mouth.  Periodontium consists of supporting tissue, bone structure and ligaments around the teeth.  Brushing and flossing might not be adequate in completely removing the bacteria and toxins in the periodontium.  Dentist would evaluate the severity of periodontal problems and then determine treatment for the patient.

The most basic periodontal treatment is basic dental cleaning.  Patient would have basically good oral hygiene with only minimal plaque within the shallow gum pockets.

However, if the patient shows early to moderate gum pockets, some bone loss, bleeding or more than one of these symptoms, the dentist would perform a procedure called Scaling And Root Planing.  Dentist would have to remove all calculus from the deep gum pockets and cleanse off all toxins with medicated rinse.  Dentist would typically treat one half of the periodontium and would complete both sides in two visits.  Dentist would anesthetize the treatment region for patient’s comfort.

If the patient shows more severe periodontal problems, dentist would need to perform periodontal surgery.  Dentist would perform surgery on the gum tissue so to expose the deepest crevice in the gum pockets in order to facilitate complete removal of toughest calculus and toxins.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Scientists Find Nerve Cells in Tooth Can Transform into Stem Cells

Stem cells are the most primitive cells that can transform into many different types of cells which will eventually become organs. Stem cells are thought to only exist in early development. As adult, all cells have matured and fixed into certain types and forms.

The discovery of stem cells help to repair defective organs. Scientists have been motivated to find if there are ways to revert cells in our body to become the stem cells.

As a dentist, I was so excited to see this news about a group of scientist discovering stem cells in the tooth. Even though the results are on a rat model, I hope that they can continue the research to find out that our human tooth can also grow stem cells. For the link to the scientific article, click here.

Glial Origin of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Tooth Model System

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing General Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.