Part of a dental exam involves documenting the fillings already present in your mouth and any cavities that need to be filled. We do a complete charting of your mouth during a dental check-up…Let’s call it your ‘mouth fingerprint.’
When we check all around your mouth, we document the ‘state’ of your teeth and underlying gums. As we do the exam, you will hear us say many words that will seem very foreign to you; it’s like a different language. One of the words you may hear is buccal. “This tooth needs a buccal” means that a specific surface of the tooth needs its buccal surface filled.
The word buccal means something, though: it’s the surface of the tooth that is opposite the cheek.
Let me explain…
Each tooth has five surfaces. These are: (It may help to picture a cube.)
1) Occlusal – the top surface or chewing surface of the tooth.
2) Mesial – this is a side surface of the tooth closer to the mouth’s front.
3) Distal is also a side surface of the tooth, which is closer to the back of the mouth.
4) Lingual – the tooth’s inner surface facing the tongue.
And last but not least –Buccal.
(5) Buccal – the tooth’s outer surface that faces the cheek.
The attached image shows a person’s cheek being pulled back with a dental mouth mirror. Aside from illustrating braces on the lower teeth, it also shows the surface of the teeth facing the cheek, also known as the Buccal surface.
The reason that I bring this matter up is that it never fails. Every time I finish examining and charting the details of a patient’s mouth, they ask, “What’s a buccal?” Hence, this blog.
Oh, and please don’t forget, whenever you’re in a motor vehicle, don’t forget to ‘buccal’ up!
Yours in excellent oral hygiene, Dr. F. Keshavarz Dentistry
Making Brampton Smile Since 2001