The Importance of Periodic Dental Visit and Examinations

One way to save money is to spend money.  This is contradictory statement but it is perfectly applicable to personal dental heatlh.  Going to dentist for routine checkup can greatly benefit your dental health.   By having periodic examination, dentist can detect small changes in your dental conditions.  Small dental problems such as small cavity are often easy to fix and does not require much expenses.  Also, periodontal diseases are readily manageable if they are detected and treated at its early stages.

I like to tell about this case about a patient who recently come to my office for infection in his gum.  He said he always goes to Taiwan two times per year for dental cleaning.  However, for some reasons, he was not aware that he has severe periodontal disease, especially severe bone loss in his front teeth.  The periodontal abscess is what makes him come to see me.  The severe bone loss demonstrates that he has severe periodontal disease and the prognosis for his teeth are poor.  Those teeth might need to be extracted in order to prevent further bone loss to the adjacent teeth.

Undiagnosed periodontal bone loss

Undiagnosed periodontal bone loss. The teeth would need to be extracted.

Perhaps, if he were able to have periodic dental examinations, his periodontal disease could be more readily treated.  In United States, dentist would perform dental examinations when patient come in for cleaning visit.

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.

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

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.