Dental Education Lecture: Preventive Dentistry

Mr. Yin became our patient two years ago.  X-ray showed that there are a lot of tartars under the gum line (Fig.1 arrowheads).  Obviously he did not floss.  We did deep cleaning for him.  What was not found at that time is a small cavity (Fig.3 arrowheads, as compared to Fig.1), which develops into a big one in two years (Fig.3,4).  Now he has cold sensitivity.  He feels that the nerve is exposed.  We may end up doing root canal for this molar tooth.

In the past two years, Mr. Yin has visited dental office occasionally whenever he thinks necessary.  For example, he had cleaning done two months ago before returning his home country for visit.  Everyone wants to look good before going home.  At that visit, we found several cavities in his front teeth and get them fixed.  He spent a fortune. Since that dental visit, he has begun to floss daily.  It is a little too late to prevent cavity getting bigger in the back tooth.

Therefore, to prevent tartars and cavities, we should brush and floss every day, have dental appointment on regular basis, and take X-ray a little sooner than we think necessary.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 01/30/2011, last revision 01/30/2011