Uncategorized

Dentist Can Help Parents Detect Kids Methamphetamine Abuse

Dentist can help parents to detect if there is any changes in their kid’s oral health which could be associated with drug abuses.  One common drug abuse is methamphetamine.  When patients come in for biannual dental checkup, dentist would detect any changes in their oral health.  This includes any health problems caused by diseases or drug abuses.  There are signs and symptoms dentist can detect in the oral cavity and in the facial regions.

A methamphetamine abuser usually have what’s called the meth mouth.  Xerostomia or dry mouth is common occurence.  The oral cavity is dry because of vasoconstriction caused by the drug.  This vasoconstriction also can cause the teeth to die from inside out.  The teeth will become rotten from the interior pulpal chamber.  Often the teeth will break at the neck, leaving unsightly blackened root stump exposed.  Multiple teeth will have severe cavity at the smooth surface and may break off at the gum line.

Meth Mouth

“Meth Mouth”, multiple blackened cavity on the smooth surface of tooth. Some may break off at the gum line

On the facial region, the skin will be excessively dry due to vasoconstriction effect of the drug.  The skin may have multiple scratch marks because the drug abuser would experience severe itch on their skin and the skin on arms, legs, and face may be scarred.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, Please call 480-820-6131

Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

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

 

Scientists Stimulate Stem Cells with Light To Regrow Teeth

laser on tooth

I have come across this articles that scientists have found way to stimulate stem cells to regrow part of the tooth.  In the article, scientist Praveen Arany from National Institute of Health has used low-powered laser to stimulate the stem cells within a tooth to regrow the dentin, which is the inner layer of the tooth.  This can potentially help repair the damaged tooth and save the tooth from having the root canal therapy done on it.  They have not gotten to regrow the enamel yet but I hope in the future we can make dentistry totally painless by regrowing the tooth structure.  This is the reference to the article:

Bright Idea: Scientists Use Laser Lights to Regrow Teeth from NBC News Online

 

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, Please call 480-820-6131

Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

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

Dental Endo-Perio Infectious Lesions Due to Vertical Fracture

The more severe form of the dental infection is the endo-perio lesion.  The characteristics of this type of lesion is that radiograph will show a radiolucent band around the entire roots of a tooth.

Dental Endoperio infection manifests itself as radiolucent band around the roots of a tooth.

Dental Endoperio infection manifests itself as radiolucent band around the roots of a tooth.

This type of dental infection is a more aggressive form of dental infection.  It usually happens when there is an untreated infection and the affected area has spread to the entire roots of the tooth.  One common cause of such infection is from vertical fracture of the tooth.  The bacteria has traveled from the oral cavity to infect the root and bone around the tooth.  Thus, if there is an endo-perio lesions evident in radiograph, it has the possibility that the tooth might have some kind of fracture.

Dental Endoperio Infectious Lesions Due to Vertical Fracture shown

Vertical Fracture (shown in Yellow Line) is a common cause for endo-perio lesions.

This type of dental infection is very aggressive that a typical dental treatment of root canal therapy might not be enough to cure it.  Even after root canal therapy and rigorous antibiotic regimen, the prognosis of the tooth is guarded, which means it could be less favorable compared to tooth with a more minor form of infections.  However, root canal therapy is the last defense of saving the tooth before a tooth is deemed unsalvable from the infection.

If there is a through-and-through vertical fracture, the tooth cannot be restored and it needs to be taken out.  Vertical fracture essentially split the tooth in half and no dental fillings or crowns can hold the tooth together.  No dental fillings or crowns can repair the cracks below the roots of the tooth and bacteria can get through those cracks.

Option to restore the unsalvable tooth is to first extract the tooth and then restore it with implants.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, Please call 480-820-6131

Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

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

Forensic Dentistry Helps Identified Victims

Teeth is perhaps the strongest parts in the human body.  It does not get burned by fire.  It does not deteriorate like other tissues after a person has died.  Also, it is so strong that it could survive in a traumatic accident.  Thus, its ability to remain in tact has helped the specialized dentist to identify the victims in a crime case or plane crash.

Each person has his/her own dental history.  The location and type of dental restorations are recorded on the xray radiographs held in dental office where the person goes to for dental treatments.  Each person has his/her own unique dental history.  The location, size and shape of dental restorations are not the same from one person to another.  From these records, a specialist dentist can match the dental remains of the target person.  The specialist would take xray radiograph of the dental remains and compare it with the old xray records.  If there are multiple matching similarities in the specific dental information between the old radiographs and the new radiographs, then the identity of the victim can be found.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, Please call 480-820-6131

Family Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

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

Incorrect Toothbrushing Causes Damage to Teeth

Incorrect toothbrushing or using overly tough bristles can cause gingival recession and in turn it can create additional mechanical wear to the root surfaces of teeth.  The root surface is softer than the top part of the tooth because it does not have outermost layer of enamel.  It is covered by cementum which is softer than the enamel.  Because it is softer, once the ginigva is receded, this cementum layer is more easily abraded by mechanical wear from excessive brushing force and/or from tough bristles on the toothbrush.  Over time, the neck of the tooth will become notched, like this:

The tooth become notched from abrasion.

The tooth become notched from abrasion.

There are two ways to deal with this problem.  One way is to have gingival graft.  This requires surgery on the gingival tissue in order to harvest viable tissue to repair the gingival recession.

The second way is to put a composite filling on the defect.  The result is like this:

Composite filling is to repair the defect on the tooth.

Composite filling is to repair the defect on the tooth.

 

Long time solution is to use correct brushing techniques, modify the brushing forces and also change to a soft toothbrush.

How to Make Your Dental Visits As Pleasant As Possible?

Dental visit does not have to be a scary one.  If you have broken teeth and need to see a dentist, there are ways to help you breeze through the dental procedures.

Before you go to the dental office, you should eat a light meal.  Empty stomach might leave you with low blood sugar level which put you at greater risk for a variety of medical conditions such as nausea, headache, etc.  In contrary, eating too much will have you feeling bloated.  Eating a light meal will help you energized and help you get through the procedure more easily.

In the dental chair, you can ask for amenities such as shaded eyeglasses, music headphones, pillows, blankets, etc.  Shaded eyeglasses help block off focused dental light.  The eyeglasses also help you relaxed by screening you from seeing the dental operations.

Music headphones help you decrease the level of noise yout experienced during dental drilling.  Music can help you relaxed and keep your mind away.

Pillow and blankets provides creature comforts.

You might also ask dentist to prescribe some medication that help control your amxiety prior to the dental visit.

At our dental office, we provide these amenities to help our patients.

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

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

 

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