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December 31, 2013

Continuing dental education

Blogged under Dental Education by DrJean on Tuesday 31 December 2013 at 1:58 am

I think I attended so many conferences and courses this year that I lost count of the number. Some were really good with some excellent top-notch speakers. Some were only so-so. However, there is always something I can learn whatever the circumstances.

I also take the opportunity during these scientific meetings to catch up with my colleagues and other dental practitioners. We are constantly busy with our respective schedules that these are precious time for us to catch up with one another.



This year I signed up for an endodontic conference in Seoul,Korea; also taking the opportunity to visit Korea. I attended the 17th Scientific Congress of APEC (Asia Pacific Endodontic Confederation )  in COEX ,Gangnam ,and the congress was entitled “New Horizon in Endodontics”.

This was an excellent conference with most of the big names in endodontics from around the world ,all gathering to share the latest in endodontics. It was a real privilege to be there together with another fellow Malaysian, at the same time experiencing the Korean culture.  They are so efficient that they have their association meeting during lunch hour AND eat their lunch at the same time!





And while in Korea, TC,who traveled there with me, decided that we should hike up at least one of its many mountains. Hiking is one of the favorite activities here. So we went up Mount Bukhansan,which was near to the city. Located within the Bukhansan national park, we climbed the Baegundae Peak,which was the highest peak on Bukhansan, at 840m. What an experience! after that we are determined that we will return to Korea for more hikes.




This year I also decided to attend an implant course, just to keep myself up to date on what is the latest in dental implants and its applications. For the longest time I shied away from placing implants surgically, only staying to the prosthodontics portion of the implant treatment. So it was an interesting step for me .

I attending a few full-day  intensive lecture sessions and we had to place implants on patients under supervision as part of the course.


There is still so much to learn………….

January 2, 2013

Learning exciting new and “old” things is endodontics

Blogged under Dental Education by DrJean on Wednesday 2 January 2013 at 7:22 am

I attended an endodontic conference in Singapore in September 2012, over a weekend and picked up some knowledge on new advances in the area of root canal treatment.  At the same time,we were reminded of the basic fundamentals of what we have learnt on how our human cells have great ability to regenerate and repair.
In these times where the old kept being replaced by the new,the message was quite refreshing.

I was privileged to have a photo with the much esteemed Professor  Harold Messer.

August 28, 2012

Meeting in Seefeld,Germany

Blogged under Dental Education by DrJean on Tuesday 28 August 2012 at 3:00 am

I was invited to attend a meeting in Munich,Germany in July this year,where 16 of us from 9 Asia Pacific countries got together to learn and share our knowledge on the advancements in dentistry.  Among us were academicians from universities and clinicians from private practices. I was truly privileged to be part of this group.

I was also given the opportunity to give a short presentation on preventive dentistry in my daily practice.


We were also showered with warm German hospitality and we had time to get to know our fellow Apac dental colleauges.

It was both work and play and altogether a very enriching and memorable experience.





June 1, 2012

2012 Commonwealth Dental Association/Malaysian Dental Association/FDI World Dental federation International Scientific Convention and Trade Exhibiton cum 69th MDA AGM

Blogged under Dental Education,Personal by DrJean on Friday 1 June 2012 at 6:46 pm

I just attended the 2012 Commonwealth Dental Association/Malaysian Dental Association/FDI World Dental federation International Scientific Convention and Trade Exhibiton cum 69th MDA AGM at the Borneo Convention Center in Kuching,Sarawak last weekend.The title was “Bridging Technologies: Past,Present & Future”

It was an excellent meeting and I learnt a lot from the numerous speakers who spoke on very relevant topics. There is much that I have taken back with me to be applied in my practice.Kudos to the Eastern Zone MDA Committee for organizing such a successful conference.
I must add here that I am beginning to like visiting Sarawak very much. It is refreshingly different from the hustle and bustle of the Klang Valley(PJ and KL) .



And I have made some very very good friends who always welcome me with warmth and hospitality par excellence. I had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of Kuching food and hospitality together with my husband,who came along with me on this trip. We love the Dayak food ,the famous Sarawak laksa, the Foochow noodles etc!


And we also stayed back one day in Kuching after the conference to  do training for leaders on how to run  The Parenting Course .


It was a very fruitful trip….but I missed my children, and it made me decide that the next time I will bring the whole family along for such trips!









May 20, 2012

IDEM 2012

Blogged under Dental Education,Personal by DrJean on Sunday 20 May 2012 at 4:34 am

I managed to attend the International Dental Exhibition and Meeting this year in Singapore in April. It was quite a struggle for me though, to be away from my baby for the first time since I gave birth last August .
That aside,it was a good time of learning and catching up with dental colleagues.

I had 2 of my associates Dr Amy and Dr Ling,with me.







October 16, 2010

Which type of tooth whitening is better?

Blogged under Tooth whitening by DrJean on Saturday 16 October 2010 at 12:48 am

This is the common question asked when someone comes to me to do teeth whitening.
I would not answer the question in this manner. I would rather compare it based on the needs and compliance of the individual.
If you are getting married tomorrow,then obviously you will need to get an “instant” whitening ie the chair-side in-house whitening.On the other hand,if you are  generally a compliant and disciplined person who is willing to listen to your dentist’s instructions :),then go for the take-home overnight whitening.
The end result?  They both give you white teeth.

Below are some before and after pictures .

The 1st picture was  taken in June 2009 .The 2nd picture was taken 2 weeks later after using the take-home whitening which was applied on the upper teeth only. This lady of 68 years old, continued with the whitening procedure for her lower teeth for another 2 weeks.(This process can be done together ie the upper and lower teeth can be whitened at the same time).The 3rd picture was taken recently in September 2010. obviously the patient is very happy with the results.

The above are pictures of a chair-side whitening patient,obviously a very happy young lady of 19 years old.

In summary,you can will get results irregardless of the type of whitening you do.

September 8, 2009

2009 FDI World Dental Congress

Blogged under Dental Education by DrJean on Tuesday 8 September 2009 at 9:03 am

I just returned home from Singapore after attending  the FDI Annual World Dental Congress(AWDC) held at the Suntec Convention Centre there from the 2nd to 5th September. The FDI AWDC plays an important role in the advancement of dentistry. This internationally recognised event is held in a different city every year.And it was so good (and definitely so much more economical for me) that this year,it was held relatively close to home because most of the time it is held in the American or European continent.

This event comprises of scientific programmes,exhibitions and meetings by representatives from all over the world to strategize,plan and make policies for the advancement of dentistry in the future.

The scientific programme is an educational event with speakers from around the world presenting on the latest scientific topics affecting the dental profession globally. We had 4 days of lectures to attend,which covered all the various aspects of dentistry.It is quite awesome to be a part of  this huge group of dental practitioners from all over the world,who had gathered together to learn.The speakers were truly chosen from among the best.They go beyond excellence,bringing dentistry to a different level ,in the things they do,whether it be in the area of research or clinical work.

I felt  privileged to be a participant in this event as there is this increasing realisation that dentistry is moving in a direction where changes are occuring so rapidly.We are in the era of practising evidence-based dentistry.We do not just do what the textbooks say and definitely not what we learnt in dental school around 2 decades ago(well at least I am speaking for myself). Things have changed so much that it unnerves me to think that a big chunk of what I learnt in dental school is actually obsolete. Well,it just goes to prove that learning is an ongoing and a life-long process.

The dental exhibition was showcase of state-of-the-art advanced dental technology, equipment and products. Some of the products exhibited were being launched for the first time.

I guess one of the main things that I took home is the assurance that I am doing the right things in my practice and using the right materials for different cases.

Managed to take some pictures with my mobile phone…




September 3, 2009

Intraoral Xrays

Blogged under Dental Education,Technology by DrJean on Thursday 3 September 2009 at 9:05 am

I take quite a number of intraoral radiographs or Xrays in my daily practice.Most of the time it is the routine few that I need to take in the course of root canal treatment for my patients.I also take them very often to help me diagnose an existing  condition or when I suspect that there is a condition.It is such an essential part of my practice that it is without a doubt that a dentist cannot practice proper dentistry without an Xray facility in his or her office.

Occasionally I get the question of “Is is OK to take so many Xrays?” when I take more than a couple for one patient,which is quite normal in the course of a root canal treatment. I give them the assurance that intraoral Xrays are really extremely low in the radiation it emmits.

An intraoral Xrays emmits an estimated 0.009 mSV. (A millisievert (mSV) is a unit of measure that allows for some comparison between radiation sources that expose the entire body (such as natural background radiation) and those that only expose a portion of the body (such as radiographs). Don’t worry if you do not understand this statement,neither do I!!). Compare that to a chest Xray which emmits approximately 0.080 mSV. This is using conventional Xray films.In the advent of modern technology,we are now moving towards digital Xrays and the radiation used for digital Xrays are reduced by between 70-80%.

Dental radiographs or Xrays are images taken when Xrays pass through your mouth during a dental examination.

How it works is when the Xrays are taken,more rays are absorbed by teeth and bone,which are more dense than the cheeks and gums. The image created is called a radiograph. This can be in the form of a film or an image on the computer screen.

Teeth and bony structures will appear lighter whereas tooth decay, infections and signs of gum disease will, appear darker because of more Xray penetration. Dental fillings  may appear lighter or darker, depending on the type of material used for the particular filling.

Your dentist will be able to observe and  interpretation  these radiographs and can therefore come to a more accurate diagnosis.

Dental  Xrays can provide essential information about the condition of our teeth and our jaw. It is also imperative as a record in the event of identification of a particular individual,for example in forensic cases.

Dental Xrays can show small areas of decay between teeth or under an existing filling,which is usually not detectable by your dentist in the mouth.It can also show bone loss due to tooth infection or gum infection.Some tumours and cysts are also visible from dental XRays,and certain developmental abnormalities can be detected from them. They are also very useful for determining the position of unerupted teeth in the jaw.In cases of trauma,dental XRays play a vital role in observing possible fractures and also the position of the fracture lines.

Hence,we are able to detect and treat many dental conditions in the early stage.

I probably sound redundant,but,dental Xrays are really something we dental practitioners  cannot do without if we want to provide proper dental care to our patients.

July 12, 2009

Dental trauma-what we need to know

Blogged under Children,Dental Education by DrJean on Sunday 12 July 2009 at 7:59 am

Children in their early years will inevitably be prone to some kind of knocks or falls.

In these early years,the milk teeth are very closely related to the permanent teeth which are forming within the jaw bone.

Any injury to the milk teeth,usually the upper front teeth, during these formative years can affect the development of the permanent teeth.The result can vary depending on the severity of the trauma to the milk teeth.The permanent teeth will possibly be affected aethetically ,usually in the form of some changes in the colour or surface texture .This will only be visible when they erupt in the mouth of a child around the age of 7 or 8.

More serious injuries are where the milk teeth become embedded into the gums or where the milk teeth completely avulse from their socket.

Milk teeth that are completely knocked out should not be replaced.

What we need to be even more aware of is ,when the permanent teeth (usually the front teeth)suffer some sort of traumatic injury,we need to know what to do.This often occur in children between the age of 7 to 12.

The most important thing to do is to consult a dentist IMMEDIATELY after the incident occurs. The sooner,the better.It is of utmost importance that any traumatic injuries to the permanent teeth be examined,diagnosed and treated conservatively in the first few hours following the injury as it will affect the long term prognosis of the the tooth/teeth. Following the initial treatment,your dentist will need to folow up on the treated tooth for a number of years to prevent future complications.

The International Association of Dental Traumatology has come up with some simple guidelines and diagrams to help us understand the basics of what need to be done in the event of an injury to a child’s permanent tooth.

Recover the broken piece or pieces of the child’s tooth and place it in a cup of milk or clean water and bring it to the dentist for it to be repositioned,which is the most conservative option.

In the event that the tooth is completely knocked out,pick up the tooth by holding the crown portion and not the root portion and rinse any debris off it under running water. Then try to put the tooth back in its socket and bite down on it with a hanky or tissue paper and go to the dentist immediately.

If you are unable to put the tooth back in its original position,place it in a cup of milk or saline to keep it moist and go the dentist immediately, If you are unable to find milk nor saline,the tooth can be held in the child’s mouth but please ensure that he or she does not swallow it!

The key message is,GO TO THE DENTIST IMMEDIATELY following a traumatic injury to the permanent teeth.

Teeth grinding

Blogged under Oral health care by DrJean on Sunday 12 July 2009 at 7:04 am

Habitual teeth grinding,also known as bruxism is quite a common phenomenon.

The tale-tell signs would be very worn down teeth,and this can occur in the front teeth or the back teeth,or in severe cases,both front and back teeth are all worn out on the biting surfaces.

What causes bruxism is still generally unknown but there has been some studies done and it can be linked to a few possible reasons,among which is,

-phsychological stress

-certain sleep disorders

-malocclusion ie unnatural bite due to missing or broken teeth or misaligned teeth

-temporo-mandibular joint related problems

-increased intake of certain medication like antidepressants

-increased intake of alcohol

If you suspect that you grind habitually in your sleep,or your spouse or roommate can actually hear your night grinding,then you should see your dentist to have your teeth examined for signs of bruxism.

The usual signs are

-worn down enamel on the biting surfaces of your teeth

-tooth sensitivity especially when taking any cold food or drinks

-fracture lines on your teeth

-worn down fillings or fillings that often dislodge and have to be replaced

-aching and tired jaw especially in the mornings,at the temporo-mandibular joint area,which is situated in front of your ears

To prevent further wear and damage to the teeth ,your dentist would normally prescribe a custom night guard,to be worn at night when we are most unaware of the grinding and where we are unable to control the grinding

At the same time,you may need to address any  causes of phsychological stress that may lead to the bruxism.The stress may come from work or family or a particular  situation  you are going through.

If you have some sort of malocclusion that may be the underlying cause,then get your dentist to advise you on the various options for treatment to correct the problem.

You may need to be referred to a jaw specialist if it is a joint-related problem

In summary,if you think you grind habitually,talk to your dentist and get some advise and treatment where necessary.

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