It can happen at any time – chewing on a hard nut or candy, biting into a carrot, or even sinking your teeth into a soft pizza! At least once a week, I see a patient in my office who has broken a tooth or filling. Those who are lucky are able to have the teeth fixed with a simple filling. However, sometimes broken teeth cannot be saved and the only choice is to extract the tooth.
This patient presented to the clinic as an emergency. She had crunched down on a crouton and felt a “snap” in one of her teeth. Notice the large size of the fillings.
When I examined the tooth, I found that the outer cusp of the second premolar had been fractured. The patient was frozen so that I could examine the tooth without causing her discomfort. As can be seen in the above photo, the cusp could move freely from the tooth itself – it had broken clear off the tooth and was only being held in by the attachments to the gums.
This year’s Ghana Health Team embarked on yet another mission this weekend. As we wish them a safe and successful trip, I thought I would blog about a couple of our previous trips to Africa. When I first went to Ghana as part of the 2008 team, most of the locals had never seen a dentist before. Without accessible and affordable dental care in the northern regions of Ghana, its hard to describe the extreme dental need that we saw without some pictures.
By far, the most common problems that we saw were severe gum disease and broken teeth. When a tooth breaks and is not repaired, the inner part of the tooth (dentin) is more susceptible to cavities. Over time, the cavity grows larger and can eventually kill the nerve of the tooth, which leads to an abscess or infection. So invariably, every time we saw a broken tooth, it was accompanied by an abcess. We later learned that one of the reasons why broken teeth may be so prevalent in the local population is because it is common practice to chew and eat bones (eg. chicken bones) for nourishment. Those who were fortunate enough to be seen by the team during the two week missions were able to receive treatment. But what about the others who would break their teeth a week or a month after we left? They would have to wait another year before the team returned to set up a clinic again. We must never take for granted the health care system that we have in Canada.
To help brighten up the office, we’ve chosen a new paint colour and we couldn’t be more excited! Only a few walls have been painted so far, yet the office is already feeling warmer and brighter! Renovations will be occurring in the patient washroom as well. We hope the office transformation will be finished within the next few weeks.
Thanks for visiting our newly designed website and welcome to the News section of www.uxbridgefamilydentistry.com! Take some time to peruse the site, as you will find a plethora of information about our office and the services we offer. We’ve also included a section of before and after pictures in our “Smile Gallery” for you to see different treatment options and their outcomes.
We are especially happy about this “News” section of the site, where we will be blogging up-to-date information about our practice, general themes in dentistry, clinical cases that you might find interesting, and a plethora of topics to pique your interest. If you have any specific interests or topics you would like us to talk about, please feel free to let us know by any of the following means: