Unfortunately, I see patients everyday with horrible teeth.
I keep supplies in my office for an emergency brush and floss, on myself, whenever I finish looking in to one such mouth of a patient.
I've received dental consults back over the years with notes concerning work done on tooth #11,#12, #20 and #22, for example.
Finally, after MANY years, I decided to investigate how teeth are numbered.
The Universal tooth numbering system always starts on the right upper back-the third molar is tooth #1. It proceeds to the left upper back (third molar #16), then down to the bottom back left (tooth #17) and on around to the right lower back (tooth #32).
Numbers are assigned and remain the same even when a tooth has been pulled from the location it should lie.
Knowing this numbering system hasn't done a darn thing in improving the dental hygiene of my patients.
It just makes me feel good about using the dentists "lingo" when placing a consult or calling a dental colleague over the phone.
Even had one dentist remark that it was rare to have the referring medical provider use the numbering system, but that it was greatly appreciated.
I didn't let him know I was smiling on the other end of the phone.
Ah, it's the simple things in life that often bring joy!