Category Archives: teeth

Improve Your Smile. Porcelain Veneers Can Make A Beautiful Difference!

In about anything these days, what defines ‘quality’ and enhances longevity begins with the material — from clothing to tires to furniture and on and on, your investment in the very best pays off by giving the results you most desire.

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the materials used and the skills of the dentist are significant components of getting the most from your investment. Most of us have seen people who have had obvious dental work – NEVER the goal! In cosmetic dentistry, the goal is to create a beautiful smile that looks like you were born with!

Smile enhancement typically focuses on the front 6 – 10 teeth most visible in a full smile. These are the teeth you want to have the most natural look and feel possible in shape, shade, opalescence (the way light is reflected) and luminosity (the opaqueness).

In most cases, we use porcelain veneers to re-create appealing smiles that are balanced to facial features. Porcelain is the closest thing in durability and appearance to natural teeth and provides the best longevity of all dental materials. Additionally, porcelain resists staining better than other materials.

When replacing fillings, porcelain can be also be used for inlays or onlays to give the most natural appearance. When laughing, for example, using porcelain means the ‘tops’ of teeth won’t reveal signs of dental work. It can be precisely shade-matched to blend into existing teeth and, again, with excellent durability.

Yet, we all know even the best materials can disappoint when applied by substandard skills or inexperienced hands. For example, investing in a beautiful cashmere coat can be a waste of exquisite material if cheap thread is used and the workmanship is shoddy.

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist for you begins with a consultation appointment. During this time, you can ask questions, such as:

• What advanced training have you had that qualifies you in cosmetic dentistry?

• How will you check my bite after this treatment to ensure a proper fit?

• How do you select the dental lab who creates the veneers (or other ‘restorations’)?

• How long have you been in dentistry and what do you do to fine-tune your skills as new techniques and materials come available?

Also, visit the dentist’s web site Smile Gallery to see some examples of before-&-after’s. Look for patient quotes on the site to see if their words are reassuring to you personally.

Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat

When visiting the dentist’s office, look to see if he or she has displayed examples of their work, either in framed photography of actual patients or in albums in the reception or consultation rooms. A dentist who is skilled and experienced is confident showcasing her work!

Porcelain veneers will give you a beautiful result, if in the right hands. Your new smile should make you FEEL wonderful and inspired to share it often! An attractive smile should also get complimented by others, even strangers! That’s a terrific feeling and a sure sign that your investment was a wise one!

Discuss your smile during a free consultation. Call 586-739-2155 to arrange a time when we can sit together and determine what may be best for you.

While you’re here, we can also have our Financial Coordinator explain easy payment plans that can help you make affordable, monthly payments while enjoying your fabulous, new smile!

 

Dentures That Slip? Why The Problem Will Continue.

I’ve heard many descriptions when it comes to patients describing denture movement. Terms like wobbly, slippery, and rocky are how people tell me about trying to eat or speak with an ill-fitting denture.

Quite frankly, the problem has less to do with the denture and more to do with what it sits on.

Dentures are designed to hold replacement teeth using a gum-colored base that sits on the ‘arch’ where your natural tooth roots were once held. This arch is actually the upper or lower jaw bone, covered over with gum tissue.

When your tooth roots were present in the jaw, they kept the bone stimulated. This stimulation enabled the bone to maintain its mass, so it stayed at a healthy height and depth. Once the tooth roots were removed, however, the lack of stimulation caused the bone to shrink.

The term for bone loss from this process is known as ‘resorption.’ Resorption is actually a slow process, so it is not obvious when it first begins. Think of it like a small leak in a basketball. At first, the ball continues to bounce fine. Over time, the leak shows up and, eventually, it is an obstacle to using the ball as it is intended.

When your denture was first made, it was made to conform to the existing height and width of the arch, or ‘ridge.’ Once resorption became obvious, however, it was probably while eating.

Biting and chewing require stability of teeth. An arch that is shrinking in size no longer conforms to the contours for which a denture is originally made. Initially, using more denture adhesive or paste may help. Over time, though, movement is more than likely an obvious problem when eating.

Because bone loss creates movement when eating, long-time denture wearers often adjust their diets to soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. This not only limits the variety of fresh, fibrous foods necessary for good nutrition, digestion is also compromised. It is a fact that people who wear dentures have more gastrointestinal problems than those who have their own teeth.

While uncomfortable movement when eating is a challenge, fear of embarrassing slips or clicks also causes some denture wearers to decline social invitations that include meals or gatherings around food. Research has shown that staying socially involved is a healthy part of aging.

In one study published by the Center For Advancing Health, older adults who stayed actively engaged on a social level developed cognitive and physical limitations more slowly than did those with low levels of engagement. (http://www.cfah.org/hbns/2011/socially-active-older-adults-have-slower-rates-of-health-declines)

When the jaw bone shrinks, it affects more than just the fit of your dentures. A shrinking jaw causes changes to your facial appearance, including the formation of jowls as facial muscles detach from the declining bone mass.

Deep wrinkles form around the mouth as the jaw bone resorbs and the chin becomes more pointed. While a denture plumps up the face when in place, the extent of bone loss may be more obvious by looking in the mirror without the denture.

While we want to provide each patient with the tooth replacement choice that best suits their needs, a denture that is “wobbly” will remain a problem. Relines can help, but as the bone loss continues to flatten out the arch, the denture will start to move again.

We recommend dental implants so highly because they halt the rate of bone loss by recreating stimulation to the bone. Additionally, implants are held by the jaw bone, just as your natural tooth roots once were. This restores a stable foundation for biting and chewing, speaking and laughing.

There are many different types of implants designed for various needs. Some are designed to be positioned in minimal bone depth. For others, bone rebuilding procedures may be needed (or desired) to restore the bone to a healthy mass.

Eating, laughing, feeling confident socially and even sneezing should not be overshadowed with discomfort or fear of embarrassment. Let’s discuss your options and associated costs for dental implants during a free consultation appointment.

Afterward, we can also have our Financial Coordinator discuss payment options with you. Some require no down payment and are interest-free. You could be making easy, monthly payments while feeling confident and comfortable as you chew an apple or laugh with friends!

Call 586-739-2155 to schedule a time.

Let Teeth Whitening Improve Your Smile!

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint on a house will do to improve it’s appearance. Or having an old vehicle given a new paint job. Or even having a piece of furniture refinished.

To no surprise, having your teeth whitened also gives a smile a tremendous pick-me-up. And, what’s even better, whitening teeth is affordable, quick and long-lasting.

However, there is a significant difference between teeth whitening systems offered by dentists, such as Zoom 2, versus what is sold over-the-counter. Although you can purchase a quick-&-easy whitening kit everywhere from the grocery store to the drug store, are you really getting a reasonable amount of whitening for the money you’re being charged?

There are four factors to consider when you’re thinking of whitening your teeth:

• Degree of whitening – If you have just mild surface yellowing, a drug store whitening kit may be all you need. However, to truly make a difference in teeth that have yellowed, grayed or browned or those with deeper stains, a professional level of whitening is needed. These are designed to go deeper in the tooth and lighten beyond what is just surface staining. Our Zoom 2 system tackles very deep stains to provide a significant level of white.

• Longevity of whitening – When you whitening your teeth, you certainly don’t want to lose the look after several months. Yet, that can happen when you use kits that only tackle surface discoloration. Although we advise our Zoom 2 patients to take measures to lessen the staining effects of red wine, coffee and blueberries, the longevity of whitening is far beyond what OTC kits can offer. Remember, with store-bought kits, you’re only treating surface stains. With Zoom 2, you’re getting down deep into the tooth to lighten. This helps you enjoy a whiter, brighter smile for a long time.

• Safety and sensitivity – Because Zoom 2 is administered in a dentist’s office under a dentist’s supervision, the safety of your teeth and gums is an important part of the process. Trying to maximize the level of whiteness through a kit’s limited potential is risky. Zoom 2 is designed to create minimal, if any, sensitivity to gum tissues and is safe for both teeth and gums. When drug store kits’ directions are not followed to the letter, you risk the well-being of your smile. Mishaps to tooth enamel or gum tissues can be costly to repair. It’s best to stick with a dental professional.

• Quick and easy – While many store-bought kits require a brief amount of time, the process may require time spent every day for a week or more to accomplish noticeable whitening. Our Zoom 2 process requires about an hour. You just sit back and relax and we’ll do the rest!

Whiter teeth are an affordable way to make flaws in a smile less noticeable. Plus, white teeth project a healthy, well-cared for smile that sends a positive message to others.

Your whiter, brighter smile is just an hour away! If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of a professional, dentist level whitening system, call 586-739-2155. We’ll discuss the process and cost and gladly answer any questions.

Frequent Headaches Or Migraines?

If you suffer with frequent headaches or migraines, you probably live with a shadow of dread hanging over you. Often, these seem to pop up with no predictability. And, they often arrive at the worst possible moments. They can be dreadful interferences to being active, having a career, raising a family and social involvement.

For a moment, imagine the wear and tear your automobile’s tires and body structure endure when one wheel is out of alignment. Now, imagine the wear and tear your head receives when your bite is misaligned.

Like the interworking components of a car, there are many integrated parts that comprise our dental make-up, each part designed to integrate harmoniously with the others. When one component is off-kilter, however, it tends to create a domino effect.

Bite alignment goes far beyond how teeth meet together. Think about the intricate combination of muscles, joints and teeth that come in to play each time we smile, speak, chew, or even yawn.

In this light, it’s easier to see how upper and lower teeth meet could be the cause of headaches, jaw pain, stuffy and ringing ears, grinding and clenching teeth, dizziness, sore muscles, neck and back pain, limited range of motion of the neck, poor posture, fatigue and more.

As a Neuromuscular Dentist, I have an advanced understanding of how  the temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ) relies on the harmonious unity of the joints, muscles, bones and teeth. This includes the levelness of the teeth that distribute the forces of the bite. A bite that is tilted will misdirect these forces and result in an abnormal wear and tear similar to that of a tire being out of alignment.

In Neuromuscular Dentistry, we understand how to incorporate its principles in treatment to resolve problems — many of which patients have been suffering with for years.

We have treated patients who have wandered from doctor to doctor for years, seeking solutions that fell short. Many were lead to believe their unexplained pain was related to stress, hormones or poor posture. Too many were prescribed medications or led to believe the problem was imagined.

In our office, we utilize advanced computer technology to capture information for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. This also provides a basis for appropriate treatment and allows patients to monitor their progress during treatment.

When the delicate balance of everything that makes up your smile and beyond is in proper position, years of headaches, migraines and other symptoms can disappear – for good! Begin with a no-cost consultation to discuss your personal situation and learn the options to help you live life without the dread of headaches! Call 586-739-2155.

The Components Of Dental Implants – How They Work.

A growing number of adults are choosing to replace missing natural teeth with Dental Implants. As the reputation of implants grows, more people are learning that implants are safe, dependable, look and feel natural and are designed to last your lifetime.

Too, Dental Implants have one of the highest implant-in-bone success rates (including that of knees and hip joints). Dental Implants do not decay, will never need a root canal and do not rely on support from neighboring teeth. The most appealing aspect of implants, however, is how they restore your ability to bite and chew comfortably, laugh with confidence and speak without worry.

Dental Implants have been around for decades and have been perfected over the years. There are many types of implants, each designed to accommodate specific needs. A qualified, experienced dentist can determine the type that will work best for you.

In addition to the different types of implants, they come in various shapes and sizes and have different components. Some are placed in unique angles or in various intervals. To understand how implants work, we’ve provided an explanation below.

For example, some implant systems are designed to support non-removable teeth while others may support teeth that are detachable for cleaning. Some implants support one or several teeth while others are designed for placement in minimum bone mass.

•  The ‘implanted’ portions of Dental Implants are actually tooth root replacements. This portion is placed in your jaw bone where it will become secured by the bone growing around it. This process is known as osseo-integration.

•  The process of osseo-integration takes several months. This process can be likened to a tree branch that grows around a rope tied around it for a very long time. Osseo-integration is similar but occurs at a much more rapid pace.

•  After 3-6 months, the implant has become secured by the bone. A post is then inserted into the center of the implant and a replacement tooth (or teeth) is attached to the post. Your new tooth looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth.

•  Keep in mind that the ‘implant’ is not the tooth. The implant is designed to support the post that holds the tooth (referred to as the ‘restoration’). By being placed in the jaw bone, just as a natural tooth root, the implant can support the attached tooth with a firm foundation for optimal stability.

• An implant can support more than one tooth, in most cases. Therefore, is not necessary to place an implant for each missing tooth. One implant is often used to support two or a bridge of teeth. Several strategically-placed implants can support a full arch of teeth.

• Dental Implant treatment costs are largely based on the number of implants placed. When an implant can hold a bridge of teeth or several implants are used to secure a full arch of teeth, this helps to keep overall treatment fees to a minimum.

Regardless of the type of implant placed, it is important to remember that implants do occasionally fail. Night-time clenching or grinding teeth can be a factor. Smoking dries out oral tissues and delays the healing process, which can also contribute to implant failure. Poor oral hygiene routines can also lead to failure. If infection sets in and reaches the implanted portion, the implant may need to be removed to fully resolve the problem.

In our office, we strive to make sure each patient understands their treatment and all options available that coincide with their needs and goals. If you’ve considered Dental Implants, call 586-739-2155 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

During this time, we’ll discuss the implant types that are best suited for your needs and goals and anticipated costs. We can also have our Financial Coordinator explain various payment options that are interest-free with no down payment required.

Inlays & Onlays Explained

Keeping natural teeth is important for reasons in addition to just creating an appealing smile. A natural tooth provides a number of advantages both above and below the gum line.

It has been shown that people who have their natural teeth live an average of ten years longer than people who wear dentures. And, it is a fact that, when a natural tooth is lost, the next to be lost will be one adjacent.

When most people think of having a cavity in a tooth repaired, a ‘filling’ is typically the anticipated procedure. However, large cavities of teeth that have an overload of decay or previous fillings are often crowned. A crown (or ‘cap’) covers the entire top and sides of the tooth to protect the remaining structure. This helps preserve the tooth along with its roots that are so beneficial to the health of the jaw bone that supports them.

In the past, many dentists used a silver ‘amalgam’ material to fill the portion of the tooth that was removed.  Because of the concerns surrounding the suspected hazards of amalgam’s mercury content, non-amalgam filling materials became the standard choice for most dentists.

Non-amalgam tooth-colored fillings contain no mercury and provide a more tooth-like appearance. Yet, there are times when a filling is not quite right and a crown may be more than is needed. This is where inlays and onlays are a better option.

Inlays and onlays are ideal when a large, biting surface area of a tooth needs repair. Inlays and onlays are like porcelain puzzle pieces. They are custom-designed to fit precisely into the tooth, similar to how a puzzle piece fits snugly into a jigsaw puzzle.

The procedure begins with removing the decayed area and preparing the tooth. You are fully numbed during the procedure. While you relax, a mold is made of the area to be replaced with the inlay or onlay. A temporary ‘restoration’ will be provided to protect the area while a dental lab creates your final porcelain inlay or onlay. Once the restoration is ready, you’ll return to our office to have it ‘seated’ into placed and secured with a special dental adhesive.

The porcelain used in inlay and onlay construction provides exceptional durability and provides a highly natural feel and function with exceptional longevity. During both appointments, your comfort is a priority. If desired, oral sedation can be added to treatment for added relaxation.

When a tooth needs repair beyond the adequacy of a simple filling (or less than the need for a full crown), an inlay or onlay may be the ideal remedy. If this is best for your individual situation, I’ll be happy to explain the procedure, comfort options, treatment time and estimated cost.

Call 586-739-2155 to request a no-cost, no obligation consultation.

Avoid Losing Teeth By Decisions You Make Now

Imagine standing on the side of the road, stranded beside a car that has stopped running. For most of us, there is a sense of dread for this type of situation since we know the time, expense and frustration that comes with correcting the problems involved.

Now, imagine learning that the car is stranded because you failed to add necessary fluids, fell behind on oil changes and ignored warning lights.

As a dentist, I see a fair number of patients who have lost teeth. While some have lost them due to an accident or injury, most have lost them because of inadequate oral hygiene, failing to have regular dental care, and poor health choices (such as smoking).

For those who have lost teeth due to these choices, any one of them will tell you if they could go back in time, they would have taken better care of their teeth.

A tooth lost must be replaced or else neighboring teeth will shift. This shifting can cause chipped, broken or worn teeth. As the fit of upper to lower teeth moves out of its proper position, it can lead to headaches, migraines, night-time grinding and clenching, dizziness, ear ringing and sore jaw joints.

With poor oral hygiene and lack of regular dental check-ups, continued tooth loss is almost assured. As each tooth is lost, the one adjacent to it is at the highest risk to be the next you’ll lose. It’s a vicious cycle.

Teeth are easy to take for granted, They are hard and strong, giving the appearance of being ‘rock solid.’ They can weather an enormous amount of force. Yet, teeth are a natural part of our overall makeup. and do have vulnerabilities. This is why cavities and breaks can occur.

The main reason we recommend crowns for teeth at risk is to save the tooth. While the portion of a tooth you can see is important, it’s the portion beneath the gum line that we are even more concerned about.

Tooth roots nurture and ‘feed’ not only the tooth, but the jaw bone that supports them. Without these roots in place, the bones begins to atrophy. In dentistry, this is known as resorption. Simply put, it’s a melting away of jaw bone where tooth roots were once held.

As the bone shrinks, a number of things begin to occur. The tooth roots adjacent to the area of resorption are more vulnerable. The tooth above or below elongates, creating risk for damage mentioned prior (chips, breaks, etc.).

Facial changes can be seen as the bone thins further. For example, when the mouth appears collapsed into the face and the chin points, this is referred to as a ‘granny look.’ This occurs due to severe resorption of someone who has lost all of their teeth.

Earlier facial changes can also be seen when someone is missing natural teeth. Deep wrinkles form around the mouth, the corners of the mouth turn downward even in a smile, jowls form from the detachment of facial muscles, and the nose moves closer to the chin.

As unfortunate as these changes in appearance are, trying to eat properly when the jaw bone has declined is worse. People who wear dentures or partials often struggle when chewing or biting when their denture lacks a high foundation on which to balance.

When the bone shrinks, the ‘arch’ where tooth roots were once held begins to flatten. This is a slow but continual process that gives a denture an ever-decreasing surface. After a while, even denture adhesives or pastes are of little help.

To replace missing teeth, we often recommend dental implants. Implants recreate stimulation to the jaw bone, halting the rate of bone loss. Because they are supported by the jaw, implants restore the same, dependable foundation your natural teeth once had.

Another advantage of dental implants is their ability to ‘stand alone.’ Since implants are held by the jaw bone, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, as with crown-&-bridge combinations. This means you won’t need to have otherwise natural, healthy teeth crowned for the mere purpose of supporting a bridge.

To correct a common misconception, an implant is NOT always needed for each missing tooth. In many cases, one implant can support a bridge of two or more teeth. When a full arch of teeth is needed, several strategically-placed implants can provide adequate support.

All-On-4 Dental Implant System is one example of several implants supporting a full arch of teeth.

If you’ve lost teeth, the best way to halt the process is to replace those you’ve lost (and the sooner, the better). Then, be ultra-committed to your oral health. Brush twice a day and floss daily. Drink plenty of water and limit snacking and your intake of sugar and carbs. If you have teeth at-risk, have them crowned or other necessary repairs.

In our office, we respect all patients. We pride ourselves on being a ‘lecture-free zone’ and are here to support each individual, regardless of what brought them here. For those who have lost natural teeth, our goal is to restore them to a healthy, confident smile they’ll feel good about.

Begin with a free consultation to discuss your oral health needs and the smile you’d like to have – and share, often! Call 586-739-2155 and ask to meet with me personally. I look forward to meeting you!

 

Soft Drinks & Your Smile

It’s MAY already? The year is flying by. Not always a bad thing! After a Michigan winter, May’s warming weather reminds us that we’re ready for some fun in the sun.

With outdoor gatherings and activities, you’ll often find a cooler of drinks nearby. Before you pull that tab, though, consider that those soft drinks can lead to costly, time-consuming dental repairs.

“Soft drinks.” Now, that’s a misleading name for what they can do to teeth and gums. Colas can contribute to a number of health problems, including an ability to cause cavities and enamel erosion. Yet, most people are unaware of just how erosive the acids from cola can be. Even sugar-free soft drinks can cause a similar erosion level as those containing sugar.

The acidity levels in colas have been compared to that approaching the levels in battery acid. Colas are so acidic because they are infused with phosphoric acid that adds flavor. Phosphoric acid is inexpensive and widely available and is a common ingredient in fertilizers, detergents and industrial cleaners. In certain uses, it is accompanied by arsenic.

Phosphoric acid is so erosive it can remove rust from aircraft carriers and ships. Imagine the damage that can be done to your teeth and bone health.

When you add the erosive acids in a cola to the acids that occur naturally in the mouth each time you consume food or beverages, the boosted levels of acidity have tremendous potential to erode tooth enamel. Symptoms of dental erosion include temperature sensitivity, pain, transparent teeth, cracking and darkening of teeth.

As bad as the erosion factor is on teeth, it’s often the way colas are consumed that ramps up the damage. Take, for example, someone sipping on a cola for a period of time. Remember, every time we eat or drink, an acid attack begins in the mouth as part of our digestive process. This ‘natural’ acid flow is active for about 30 minutes after eating or drinking ceases.

So, when you sip a cola for a half-hour period, the acid attack lasts that long PLUS another 30 minutes. When you combine the sugar and acid in the drink to your digestive acids, you reduce surface hardness of tooth enamel for an extended period of time.

Because soft drinks can weaken tooth enamel, they become more vulnerable to decay. In this state, it is also easier for teeth to become stained. The caramel color in many colas easily contributes to the yellowing of teeth.

The U.S. has the highest per-capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the world. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans drink more than 50 gallons per capita of carbonated soft drinks annually. In addition to tracking the consumption of carbonated soft drinks, the organization also monitors consumption of bottled water, coffee, tea, milk, fruit drinks, beer, wine and spirits. Of all those they track, carbonated soft drinks make up the largest segment.

Health concerns about soft drinks have led many schools to remove sodas from drink machines and cafeterias. Obviously, dentists are also urging children, teens and adults to steer clear of sodas.

While it is important to stay hydrated, especially when participating in sports or working outdoors, colas are the opposite of hydrating. Colas not only contain phosphoric acid, they contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that causes water depletion. It has been shown that consuming carbonated drinks during hot weather can result in dehydration and heighten the risk for heat stroke.

Don’t let the commercials about “refreshing” soft drinks fool you. You can do your smile and your overall health a favor by reaching instead for a bottle of water. If you prefer flavor in your beverage, add apple, strawberry, cucumber or orange slices to chilled, filtered water.

Rethink your cola consumption this summer and what you ice down in your cooler. Colas are no friend to your smile. Bypass the soft drinks for water and avoiding cavities, tooth erosion, and the need for fillings, crowns and other repairs that can be costly and time-consuming.

 

NEURO-MUSCULAR DENTISTRY MADE SIMPLE

Do you suffer with frequent headaches or migraines? Frequent headaches affect nearly 50 million Americans. And while many sufferers search for a solution, many fail to connect the dots between these headaches and their dental anatomy.

Amazingly, the position of how our upper and lower teeth meet is a typical cause for headaches, jaw pain, sore muscles, neck and back pain, limited range of motion of the neck, poor posture, stuffy and ringing ears, grinding and breaking teeth, dizziness, fatigue and more. All of these symptoms can be due to one’s bite being off, perhaps by only a millimeter (1/25th of an inch).

Your dental make-up is an intricate composition of muscles, joints and teeth and plays a major role in your overall comfort and health. Because humans are incredibly adaptable, the body’s muscles, bones and joints can function although these are not in ideal alignment. This is as true with the bite as with other parts of the body, such as when one leg is shorter than the other. However, there are times when the body cannot adapt, which is just as true with dental problems.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is a modern advancement based on the understanding that the temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ) need to be in a comfortable resting position for the ultimate comfort of the joints, muscles, bones and teeth. When this occurs, all structures work together harmoniously.

The levelness of the teeth is just as critical.  The forces of the bite must be distributed down the length of the body. If the bite is tilted, then the forces are misdirected. This can cause as much of a problem for a patient as if the hips are not level.

When dentists are trained in Neuromuscular Dentistry, they have a unique understanding of its impact and how to incorporate it into restorative and esthetic treatment in order to help patients avoid future problems or correct those they may have been dealing with for years.

In my office, we have successfully treated patients for symptoms not normally associated with what people consider a dental problem can occur. Some examples are:

  • One patient was unable to close his eyes without falling for 27 years. This was resolved immediately when his bite was properly aligned.
  • Another patient who couldn’t turn his head to the left due to neck pain regained full range of motion once his bite was restored properly.
  • A patient who required massive amounts of pain pills for neck and back pain and headaches stopped taking them once his bite was restored.

As mentioned earlier, humans adjust to flaws. Yet, having flaws for years confuses the body’s perception of comfort over time. Unexplained pain is often attributed to other aspects of the patient’s life, such as stress, hormones or posture. Some are told it’s all in their head. They are given drugs or sent for therapy to deal with these problems, having no awareness that the source may be dental.

Today, advancements in computer technology enable dentists trained in Neuromuscular Dentistry to capture information for more effective treatment. It also gives visual ‘proof’ of treatment requirements so patients accept the authenticity of the diagnosis.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is such an important part of all implant, restorative (crown-&-bridge, partials, etc.) an cosmetic procedures in our office, so much so that we have invested in advanced technology. This allows us to measure the electrical activity of the muscles and determine the ideal resting position of the mandible (lower jaw). Throughout treatment, patients can monitor their progress by comparing before-&-after data.

Many people do not realize that bite misalignment is often due to more than crooked teeth. We’ve seen patients who’ve experience years of migraines, simply because of one crown being too high. The delicate balance in the mouth when it comes to the muscles, joints, bones and teeth working together is amazing.

If you have frequent headaches, migraines, jaw soreness, ear ringing, dizziness, tingling fingers, pain in the neck or shoulders, jaw popping or difficulty opening the mouth fully, bite misalignment is likely the culprit. These problems will only worsen without treatment.

To discuss your options and the diagnostic process, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to request a no-charge, no-obligation consultation. I’ll gladly answer your questions so you can determine the best course of action for your specific needs.