My tooth hurts. Does it mean that I have a cavity?

Today I will tell you that the answer to this blog heading is:  NO ! Sometimes when a tooth comes into contact with the opposing teeth in a way that directs excess force to the neck of the tooth,  this can cause micro-fracture of the enamel there.  When the outside layer of the tooth (enamel) is stripped, the inside layer (dentin) is exposed.  The tooth can become sensitive to substances that are cold, sweet, sour, etc...

There is no cavity in the photographs below, but the symptoms make the patient think that a cavity is there.

Take a look at the indentation (the notch) at the neck of this tooth:

Now...

Observe how the same tooth is the only one that contacts the lower teeth when the patient moves her jaw from side to side.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

Name this flower, and win free teeth whitening!

This beautiful flower was sent to us this week from a patient, fresh from her garden! Just for fun, you can win a free teeth whitening procedure if you are the first person to leave a message on our office voicemail or with our reception desk with the correct name of the flower.  One catch though... You must be willing to come to us because we cannot deliver teeth whitening over the internet :).

Our office number is 408-867-8648

What is a Hybrid Prosthesis in Implant Dentistry?

Implant dentistry can really change people's lives.  In cases where there have been significant amounts of bone and tissue loss, this type of restoration allows the patient to regain both the function and the look of a real dentition. Here is a rough outline of the process:

1.  Before the treatment was executed, proper diagnostics were done with study models, X-rays, CT Scan, etc.

2.  The implants were then placed, and allowed to integrate with the patient’s bone.

3.  An accurate impression was done to capture the implant positions and was sent to the laboratory.

4.  The lab then created a duplicate model of the patient’s arch (with the implants replicated exactly how they are in the mouth).

5.    A Cad Cam scan was done to design a titanium framework for the prosthesis.  See my blog entry dated Dec 4, 2010 about the Cad Cam technology for this same case.

6.  The titanium bar is tried in the mouth on the actual implants to ensure accurate fit.

7.  Teeth and gum colored materials are placed over the titanium bar.

8.  The final prosthesis was placed precisely over the implants in the patient’s mouth.  The entire prosthesis was held in placed by screws that fit into the implants.  Openings at the screw access were filled with proper composite materials to blend in with the surrounding areas.

9.  Proper contacts and functional guidance of the bite were checked and fine-tuned.

The patient once again has a full arch of teeth fixated to his/her arch to replace the missing teeth.  This type of restoration takes away the pain and inefficient chewing problem for patients who maybe suffering from the lack of ability to simply … eat.

Case Photos:

Images of actual patients of Alex Nguyen, DDS are Copyrighted and Digitally Embedded to track Unauthorized Use.

The titanium bar on the stone model:

The prosthesis on the stone model.  Note the access holes where the implants were positioned.

The final hybrid prosthesis in the mouth.  Note all implant access holes were filled.

The patient's smile at completion of treatment.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

So You Think You Can Crown? Don't Be Afraid to Smile Just Because You Have a Crown on Your Front Tooth ! ! !

Three years after delivery, I saw this patient again yesterday for his periodic check-up.  The patient had forgotten which tooth he fractured.  I had to take a second look to refresh my memory on which tooth I had worked on.  This is a crown success story. When science, art, and, care is coordinated between a dentist and a dental ceramist, nature is replicated in the form of teeth.  To crown a tooth is one thing, but to give my patient back a tooth in the form of a crown is something else.

This photograph is a tribute to anyone who has crowns on his/her front tooth.  It is also my way to say "Thank You !"  to all the talented dental ceramists with whom I have had the opportunity to collaborate in the quest for perfection in our work.  Thanks for supporting me in delivering nothing but the best result for our patients.

Smile on !

Before Treatment:  Tooth # 8 was fractured, and it was the only tooth restored in this case.

Images of actual patients of Alex Nguyen, DDS are Copyrighted and Digitally Embedded to track Unauthorized Use.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.