Month: December 2014

Pain Is Not The Only Reason to Fix A Tooth

<<  Topic in General Dentist Dentistry Dental Office in Tempe AZ >>

I would like to point that many people have misconceptions that a tooth only needs to be fixed, i.e. getting a dental filling, if there is pain.  If a tooth is already becoming painful or starting to becoming more sensitive, the nerve within the tooth might be affected and the tooth might require some additional treatment like the root canal therapy to alleviate the pain.  A filling is not enough to fix the tooth.  That’s because there might be some underlying dental problems such as dental cavities and infection that is so severe that it affects the nerve within the tooth.  Nerve chamber of the tooth is located at the most inner part of the tooth and only a deep cavity can affect the nerve to elicit painful response.

Another misconception is that some people will wait out the pain.  They might have some pain initially but they would not see the dentist because they hope that the pain will go away.  Sometimes the pain will go away.  Sometimes the pain goes away for the wrong reasons.  If there is an infection to the nerve within the tooth, the bacteria will continue to damage the nerve until the nerve dies.  The deaden nerve will not sense pain but it will continue to rot.  A tooth would sense pain only if there is dental problems.  It is best to see the dentist before the infection gets worse.

There are many other good reasons to see the dentist.  Dental cavity, ulcers, bad breathe, gum recessions, clenching and grinding habits can affect your teeth.  It is best to fix a small cavity before it gets too big.  If you can feel the pain, the cavity may already be too big.  A big cavity takes more effort and costs more to fix.  I as the dentist would recommend people to get routine dental checkup and cleanings at least two times a year.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

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

Hidden Cavity Revealed in Between Two Teeth

<<  Topic in Family Dentist Dentistry Dental Office in Tempe AZ >>

Dentist is like a detective.  Sometimes the cavity can be inconspicuous.  It might look innocent on the surface but it may be more extensive after dentist worked on the tooth and then the cavity becomes apparent.  For example, for this patient, small cavity is detected on the biting surface of the tooth.  Small black dots in the pits and fissures.

 

Tooth Decay Hidden

 

However, upon closer examination, on the edge or the side of the tooth near the next adjacent tooth, there is a greyish shadow under the tooth structure.  There is a small defect on the edge.  This leads to suspicion of cavity in between the two teeth.  So after patient agrees to work on the tooth, I remove the top surface layer of the enamel.  Then I can see clearly that there is a cavity shown by the brownish black area in close contact with the adjacent tooth.

 

Tooth Decay Exposed

 

Thus, not all cavity is all apparent.  Cavity can develop anywhere on a tooth.  Often cavity will develop in between the two teeth.  With regular dental checkup, dentist can help find those cavities and render treatment before it gets much worse.  The consequence of not treating small cavity is that it will become larger and with enough time, the cavity can progress into the nerve pulp of a tooth and cause toothache.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

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

Fluoride Rinse Helps Prevent Cavities

<<  Topic in General Dentist Dentistry Dental Office in Tempe AZ >>

Fluoride is a chemical ingredient common in toothpaste that has a special properties of strengthening the enamel of teeth.  In turn, this helps to prevent the cavity formation.  Often for patient who are more susceptible to cavity formation, I would recommend fluoride rinse to patients.  I would instruct the patient to use the rinse in addition to their dental hygiene routine.  Typically I instruct them to rinse with fluoride rinse after brushing their teeth and flossing.  Rinsing wth fluoride rinse for 30 seconds help the fluoride to distribute onto the surfaces of teeth.  After rinsing with fluoride rinse, I would tell patient to spit it out and do not rinse with water or drink water for at least half hour.  This allow the fluoride on the tooth to penetrate into the enamel.

However, over-ingestions of fluoride for children during their teeth development may cause fluorosis to their teeth.  So make sure that children do not swallow too much of those rinses or fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride rinse can be purchased over-the-counter in drug stores.  One brand is ACT fluoride rinse manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

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

Sunflower Seeds Cause Tooth Chipped

<<  Topic in Cosmetic Dentist Dentistry Dental Office in Tempe AZ >>

I want to show a photo of a patient which I saw today.  She has two worn front teeth.  Upon examination, the incisal edge of the tooth shows unusual wear pattern.  The wear is due to the biting down on the sunflower seeds.  This type of wear is common for the Asians who love to eat the Sunflower seeds.  So here is the photograph of her teeth:

Chipped Teeth from biting down on the Sunflower seeds

Chipped Teeth from biting down on the Sunflower seeds

 

Notice the teeth also show crack line down the middle of the longitudinal axis of the tooth.  Options to restore the tooth includes bonding composite fillings, veneers and crowns.

 

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

 

Severe Periodontal Disease Causes Bone Loss and Tooth Loss

<< General Dentistry Dental Office in Tempe AZ >>

Periodontal disease is a silent disease.  In the beginning and even in the moderate stage of the disease process, a person will often feel no symptoms.  Perhaps their gum will bleed when they brush.  If left untreated, the periodontal disease can cause serious dental problems such as persistent abscess in the gum and tooth loss.

The periodontal disease can be a slow disease progress.  However, often people will not notice it until at a much later stage.  The bacteria in periodontal disease causes erosion of the bone around the teeth.  Slowly over time, the teeth will become mobile and due to lack of the support from the surrounding bone, teeth may collapse and then tooth loss.

The following is the xray radiograph of a person having severe periodontal disease.

Severe Periodontal Bone Loss Dental

Severe Periodontal Disease causes severe bone loss

The radiograph image shows multiple teeth having black shadow around the root area.  The shadow can either be persistent infection due to bacteria and this leads to bone loss.  Clinically, multiple teeth have severe mobility because there is not enough bone to anchor each tooth.  The teeth appears to be very long because there is recession to the bone and the gum.  Some upper teeth has fallen down into the empty spaces.  The prognosis of his teeth are poor and eventually he would have to have all of this teeth extracted and get full dentures.

One way to help avoid periodontal disease is to have periodic dental checkup and cleaning.  Dentist will check if you have any periodontal disease and recommends periodontal treatment if needed.  Periodontal treatment is an on-going process and patient needs to work with the doctor to follow the oral hygiene instructions and commit to periodic recall treatment schedules.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

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

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

New Digital Panoramic Xray Machine Installed In Our Dental Office

<<  Topic in General Dentistry Dental Office Dentist in Tempe AZ >>

Recently I have introduced a new full-featured digital panoramic xray machine into my dental office.  It gives off exceptional digital xray images enabling viewing of the entire dentition.  It takes the xray images in lesser time and in lesser radiation dosage.  It has the advanced image-reconstruction technology that enables recalculation of the x-ray data after the initial scanning is completed thus helps to minimize any retake.

I am using it for diagnosing and treatment planning for oral surgery procedures such as third molar extractions, and in the future implant placement surgery.  Also, the panoramic image allows me to view the general relationship of each teeth to each other within the same arch and also how the upper and lower teeth relates to each other.  It is a win-win situation for the dentist and the patients.  I as the dentist can better design treatment for the patient and the patient will receive the best dental care.

 

Digital Panoramic Xray Machine Closeup Digital Panoramic Xray Machine Digital Panoramic Xray Radiograph

 

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

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

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

 

Common Reasons for Discomfort After New Fillings Are Placed.

<<  Topic in General Dentist in Tempe AZ >>

Dental Fillings is a basic dental procedure performed by dentist on the tooth to remove any decay and repair the cavity.  It is common to feel some discomfort after the new filling is placed and there are variety of reasons why this occurs.

The most common reasons of post-op discomfort is due to the high bite.  This occurs usually after the anesthetics wear off.  At the dental office, dentist would check the filling and tooth for any high bite by asking patient to bite on a marking paper.  The marking paper would leave indicative marking on the tooth which shows the high bite area.  The Dentist would also ask how the patient would feel.  Because the patient’s tooth is still numb under local anesthesia, patient may not be able to tell accurately if there are any high bite spot on the filling.  Dentist would perform any adjustment as indicated by the marking paper and also asks the patient if he/she is feeling fine.  Usually the dentist would make sure the patient is feeling fine and all high spot adjusted, before patient leaves the dental office.  However, because patient is still numb, there might be some slight high bite on the filling which the patient cannot feel when he/she is still numb.  So when the numbness goes away as anesthetics wear off, the patient might feel the high bite and might feel some discomfort at chewing.  The patient is encouraged to contact the dentist and schedule an appointment for adjustment of the filling.  Almost always, the discomfort would go away after the adjustment is made.

Another reasons for the discomfort might be due to the patient’s sensitivity to the dental materials used in the filling procedure.  Usually this discomfort might take some time to recover.  Dentist would not be able to tell if the patient is sensitive to the dental materials only after the filling is placed on the tooth.  Fortunately this type of discomfort is short term and is recoverable.

There is another discomfort caused by the deep cavity.  When the cavity is large, there might be little isolation from the nerve pulp of the tooth to the filling material.  Because the filling material conducts heat, cold and pressure differently from the natural dentin, the nerve pulp might be more easily stimulated.  Dentist can place the base material under the filling for protection purpose but sometimes the discomfort might still occur.   This discomfort is the causal by the dental filling procedure.  It has to do with the cavity being very large.  Dentist can try to put some desensitizing agent on the tooth if the discomfort occurs after the filling procedure.  However, if the discomfort continues due to large cavity, the tooth might need to have root canal therapy to control the symptoms.

There are also chances that the tooth might have small micro cracks which are difficult to detect.  They too can cause discomfort to the tooth.

The best way to fix the problem is to see the dentist for finding out the cause of the discomfort and then perform any adjustments/treatment needed.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

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

Dental Office in Tempe AZ