Month: September 2015

Catastrophic Fracture of a Tooth And How to Prevent It

Tooth crack is a common dental problem.  Our teeth are subject to tremendous mechanical pressure from the food chewing each meal every day.  Often, the tooth would develop internal micro-fractures.  The fracture line might become visible on the tooth and routine dental examination can help detect these fracture lines.

For example, this tooth has visible fracture line on the side wall of a posterior molar tooth.

Visible fracture line on the tooth.

Visible fracture line on the tooth.

With a visible fracture line, the tooth is at greater risk of further fracture and this would potentially cause dental emergency with great pain and discomfort.  The option to protect the tooth is to put a dental crown on the tooth.  The dental crown would offer the so-called “full coverage” protection.  The crown would help holding the tooth together and prevent the fracture from spreading further.

However, the consequence of delaying the treatment might be catastrophic.  The tooth might have catastrophic fracture and the end result could be tooth loss.

The tooth has catastrophic fracture and the tooth cannot be saved.

The tooth has catastrophic fracture and the tooth cannot be saved.

Dentist can give a detailed examination and help detect if your tooth has any fracture.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Family Dentist Office in Tempe AZ

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

It is Possible To Keep All Teeth Over 90 Years Old!

I would like to share my experience as a dentist about the relationship between dental care and a person’s dental health.  Most of the dental problems are preventable.  Often, prevention is the best cure to most dental problems and also is the least expensive ways.

People would often ignore the importance of routine checkup and cleaning dental visits because they feel it is unnecessary and too troublesome to visit dentists two times a year.  They feel it is unnecessary because they don’t have any pain or discomfort and as the result they might forget.  However, routine checkup is a good way for dentist to find small problems like small cavity and fix them before it gets too big.  Dental procedures like checkup exam, cleaning and fillings don’t cost much in comparison to other more complicated procedures like crowns, root canals and bridges.

From my observations, I would generalize that the group of people who has routine dental care would have less severe dental problems than those who only comes to dentist when they have pain or discomfort.  Also, the first group of people would also have less chance to lose their teeth.  I have many patients in their senior age who has maintained most of their teeth and they all are my routine dental patients who come for routine checkup and cleaning visits.  Part of the reasons might be genetic but more importantly, dental care throughout his/her life can greatly improve the dental outcome and helps to maintain teeth even to senior age.

This person is over 90 years old and with routine dental care, he has maintained all his teeth.

This person is over 90 years old and with routine dental care, he has maintained all his teeth.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Family Dentist Office in Tempe AZ

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

Hidden Danger of Losing Teeth

We now have many options to restore teeth which were lost due to various unreparable dental problems or the teeth which were congenitally missing.  However, many people would choose to do nothing to restore them.  If the missing teeth are not restored in time, there could be many severe cosmetic, dental and medical consequences, and they are:

  1.  If the front teeth are missing, a person’s appearance can be severely affected.  The unsightly gaps can profoundly affect a person’s psychie.
  2. The bone which were once supporting the teeth will be shrinking.  The bone will no longer receive mechanical stimulation from the teeth.  These stimulation from teeth helps promote natural remodeling of the bone.  Without these stimulation, the bone remodeling would be affected and thus the bone will become atrophy or shrink in volume.
  3. With the shrinkage of supporting bone, the lips and cheek would appear sunken in.
  4. The teeth which directly opposes to the missing teeth would extrude out of the supporting bone.  For example, if there is missing teeth on the lower jaw, the upper teeth directly above empty space would extrude downward.  Eventually, the upper teeth would extrude out of the upper alveolar bone and the teeth would be lost.
  5. Also the upper teeth would hit the gum in the empty space.  These would create chewing problem.
  6. The adjacent teeth near the missing teeth would receive excessive pressure from a person’s chewing movement, and this would cause increase in risk of tooth fracture.
  7. The adjacent teeth would collapse into the empty space and this exacerbate the already compromised bite.  Eventually, the person would have difficulty in chewing because teeth adjacent to the missing teeth would become misaligned.
  8. Due to bone shrinkage, the person would have new risk for jaw fracture.

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

General Dentist Office in Tempe AZ

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

Untreated Dental Infection: Signs, Symptoms And Treatment

Dental emergency such as dental infection is caused by bacterial infection to the dental nervous tissue, in which usually began from a small dental cavity.  The bacteria can travel from the dental pulp to the surrounding bone tissue and may spread to various facial planes.

Dental Infection Spreads to Facial Tissue and Causes Facial Swelling.

Dental Infection Spreads to Facial Tissue and Causes Facial Swelling.

 

The cause of dental infection is from untreated dental cavity which has progressed to affect the dental nerve pulp.

The cause of dental infection is from untreated dental cavity which has progressed to affect the dental nerve pulp within the dental nerve canal.

 

The treatment involves incision and drainage of the affected intraoral tissues.  A small incision is made on the intraoral tissue containing the abscess.  Pus is then drained.  If the dental pulp is infected, the root canal therapy is to be initiated.  Patient is usually put on a course of antibiotics, usually Penicillin VK, which is effective in killing bacteria in dental origin.  Then the patient is to be returned to have the root canal therapy completed and the tooth is to be sealed and crowned for full coverage protection.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Emergency Dentist Office in Tempe AZ

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

Many Benefits of Night Guards

Night guard is like a rubber “glove” worn over either upper or lower teeth mainly over your sleep at night.  It has many benefits:

1.  It protects your teeth by absorbing excessive force being placed on them when you are unknowingly clenching and grinding your teeth at night.  Some people have such habit and they may not know it but if they have done it often enough, they will notice their jaw and teeth may become sore especially in the morning.  This night guard can help protect the teeth.

2.  It helps preventing breakage of your teeth from the clenching and grinding habit.

3.  It would help relieve symptoms associated with TMJ disorders.

4.  It can be an unofficial whitening tray.  Bleaching gel can be placed within the wells of the night guard to whiten teeth.

5.  It can hold the fluoride gel in place.  Fluoride can help strengthen the teeth.

6. It can decrease the snoring problem when sleeping.  When the breathing is partially obstructed, loud snoring sound is produced.  The night guard can help open the airway and this helps decrease the snoring problem.

 

Dr Tee can help you to make a night guard if you think you have any of the above symptoms.  Come in for an examination and we can tell you if night guard can benefit you.