What your teeth say about you !
‘One eight missing, one seven M.O. composite, one six M.O.D. amalgam, one five has M.O. caries . . .’ is an example of professional lingo heard when a dentist is charting, reviewing or updating dental records. Once recorded pen-on-paper using a system of shorthand and now, more commonly utilising specialised software that saves either a 2-D or 3-D digital image. Dental charting provides a highly personal and individual ‘portrait’ in a number of ways.
Accurate dental records
A range of normal limits exist for the shape and contour of every tooth. For example, the grooves and fissures which rise to cusps on rear ‘chewing’ teeth are unique to an individual. A tooth may be rotated, missing (never developed) or additional to the usual total of 32 adult teeth. These factors, and more, are recorded in dental charting. All restorations (eg. fillings and crowns) must match the existing tooth to ensure comfortable fit and ‘twinge-less’ chewing.
Life-style and habits revealed
Your dentist also determines, from the wearing of tooth surfaces, particular habits including tooth grinding, fingernail-biting, mouth breathing, nibbling on the ear piece of spectacles or tooth picks, pen chewing, thread-biting, whether pins or nails are regularly kept between the teeth, and if thumb-sucking, trapeze-swinging-by-your-teeth or playing a reeded musical instrument count amongst your hobbies!
It is clear there a few secrets you can keep from your dentist! And, when required, these insights are the realm of forensic dentists who work to respectfully identify the dead following accidents, crimes and natural disasters. Tooth enamel is the hardest and most indestructible tissue within the human body. At 97% inorganic, it does not decompose; will not dissolve and can withstand very high temperatures.
Dental charting is reviewed and kept up-to-date during regular 6-monthly check-ups.