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November 21, 2007

“Experienced” dentist

Blogged under Personal,Trivia by DrJean on Wednesday 21 November 2007 at 10:40 pm

Last weekend,I attended a sicentific symposium organised by the Malaysian Oral Implantology Association.I thought I would get a case of information-overload, considering the fact that I have been attending lectures and talks at least one weekend a month in the past 4 months.I was wrong,there were yet more things to learn.Well, am resigned to the fact that as long as I want to keep learning about new advances in dentistry,I will have to sacrifice numerous weekends (read=precious family time).

Anyway,one the speakers,a young and brilliant renowned dentist from Singapore,mentioned something interesting. He said that to be experienced would mean that we have made mistakes.So the more experienced one is,the more mistake he/she has made.Hmm,which patients would be the “mistakes”??

So remember this the next time you hear someone claiming that he/she is very experienced :)

Replacing missing teeth

Blogged under Dental Education by DrJean on Wednesday 21 November 2007 at 2:24 am

In spite of all efforts to save our teeth,sometimes,there is no choice but to remove a functional tooth.This could be due to several reasons;the tooth could be cracked and split vertically,or there is too much decay that has penetrated very much below the gum level.Sometimes,there is chronic gum disease that causes the tooth to be loose in its socket.So,we have to say “good bye” to the tooth.

If the extracted tooth is in the front or what we call the aesthetoc zone,you would most certainly want it replaced as soon as you can,if possible,yesterday!

If the tooth is from the back ie the molars,your eating and chewing will be affected and you should plan to have the gap filled in oerder for you to eat normally again.

We need to be aware that everytime a tooth is removed,there is a space left behind.Where there is space,there is room for other teeth to move.Both horizontaly as well as verticaly.

What are the options for tooth replacement?

Going up the economic scale,we start with the lowest-priced option.The removable denture.Some people associate dentures to the elderly.They say “that’s what my grandma wears! I am not wearing that!”.Nevertheless,it is an option,especially if you find the other options beyond your financial means.

Next,you could have a bridge done,if the missing tooth is between 2 firmly rooted teeth.This is a good option if the 2 teeth are already heavily restored,or have had root canal treatment done and are indicated for crowns.This is because the 2 teeth will be crowned to hold a middle tooth.In other words the replacement tooth will bridge its 2 abutments.

The third option is placing an implant in the space left after the extraction.An implant is a titanium screw that is placed in the jaw bone and it acts as an anchor for a crown/tooth replacement which is placed over it.Placing implants involve minor surgery,therefore you need to ba in general good health with healthy tissues in your mouth.If you are a smoker,the success rate of implants drops drastically because,smokers in general have impaired healing ability and reduced immune response in the gums.Likewise if you have uncontrolled diabetes or you are advanced in age,the success rate is again lower.

If you have had a functional tooth removed or you are about to lose a tooh,talk to you dentist and find out more about the options available for tooth replacement.

 


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