Bite Splints and Nightguards
Many patients clench or grind their teeth. These actions can cause the teeth to wear down prematurely and can also result in pain to the tempormandibular joint (TMJ). Some behaviors can be controlled by behavior modification, some cannot. Patients that grind or clench may require a bite splint or dental nightguard to help separate the teeth during these actions to prevent further wear and/or pain in the TMJ. Over-the-counter nightguards are available but a dental bite splint that specifically fits the patient’s teeth is best. Our bite splints are adjusted to allow for the teeth to come together and move around in a healthy manner. In some cases, patients are not aware of their clenching or grinding habits and the damage they cause until they wear a bite splint and are free of pain.
Mouthguards for athletic endeavors are highly recommended for contact sports. Impressions (molds) are taken of the teeth and sent to a dental laboratory to have a well-fitting mouthguard fabricated.
Sleep apnea is a very serious issue and we recommend that patients who think they may be at risk seek the advice of their physician. A sleep study will determine if a patient has episodes of sleep apnea and recommendations will be made for the best treatment. In some cases, a sleep apnea dental device can be fabricated that will allow the airway to open, helping to prevent sleep apnea.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD) are characterized by a wide variety of pain and symptoms in and around the TMJ. TMD is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat and patients with severe TMD may be referred to a TMJ specialist. Most TMD patients will respond positively to wearing a bite splint. A bite splint is an acrylic mouthpiece that fits over the teeth and allows the teeth to come together and slide around in a way that may not be possible when the teeth are against each other. Sometimes the muscles around the jaw will relax and ease the pain in the TMJ. Once the jaw is in a functional position, the pain may be alleviated.
We treat patients with mild to moderate orthodontic crowding using a system of invisible braces called ClearCorrect. Patients that do not like their smile but do not want to wear traditional braces are good candidates for invisible braces. ClearCorrect uses a series of clear retainers that gradually move the teeth using a constant low force into the correct position. Each set of aligners is worn for three weeks. They are very tight at first but gradually start to fit more comfortably as the teeth are moved.
Clear Correct Invisible Braces
Clear Correct invisible braces are the treatment to use if you are concerned about the esthetics of traditional braces. The invisible braces do not interfere with speech. In fact, we have staff members that wear them and patients are not aware of it. Most people can fully function with invisible braces. One downside of the ClearCorrect system is that the aligners can be removed. In order to be effective, the aligners must be worn for 22 hours per day.
For mild crowding, Clear Correct invisible braces are an excellent solution. We will discuss your best options for enhancing your smile.
There are a myriad of products on the market to make your smile whiter and brighter. We offer many different options. You can select which option is best for you:
- Take Home Kit – these are trays filled with a gel that fits around the teeth forming a tray that will last for 2-3 weeks. The whitening gel is placed into the tray and worn for 30 minutes.
- Touch Up Pens – These pens, easily stored in a purse or pocket, are great for removing stains left behind by red wine or tea.
- Crest White Strips – We offer White Strips that have a higher concentration of peroxide resulting in better whitening results than can be found in retail stores.
- Take Home Trays – this is the best method for whitening teeth. Impressions (molds) are taken of your teeth and plastic bleaching trays are fabricated that fit only your teeth. The bleaching gel is placed in the trays and worn for either 30 minutes or overnight, depending on the preference of the patient.
Despite good brushing and flossing habits, some patients will continue to have issues with dental decay, sensitivity, and dry mouth. For these patients, a water-based, sugar-free crème called MI Paste may be prescribed. MI Paste can also help with white spots on the tooth surfaces caused by poor hygiene during orthodontics. MI Paste is a one-of-a-kind product that restores minerals and helps you produce saliva. It is the only dental product with RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP), a special milk-derived protein that is a breakthrough in oral health care in helping to remineralize teeth. If you feel like the white spots on your teeth are affecting your smile in a negative manner, MI Paste may be able to reverse the white spots restoring your smile. See our gallery for actual patients.