Archive for the ‘Bioethestic Dentistry’ Category

The Basics on How Dental Implants Work

There has been a lot of dental surgery going on around here. The information I collected at the AAID seminar has been put to good use!

If you are new to the entire dental implant procedure, the next few posts will be helpful for you to read. Every implant surgery is unique to the individual receiving it; every case is different. Dental implants require more than drilling a hole in your mouth and sticking an artificial tooth in that hole. (Ugh, that sounds like cruel torture stated so bluntly!) That is basically what dental implantation is; however, because we are not cavemen and have all kinds of brilliant technology and intelligent doctors* handling your oral ailments, you can be assured that such a surgery will be done with the utmost care and precision with long-term sustainability in mind.

Let’s say, in a “simple” case, a tooth has been extracted, lost, or missing for years. There is no tooth — or no healthy tooth — and the doctor determines that an implant is needed. After several careful measurements; x-rays; sizes; ways, shapes, and forms are recorded, the drilling begins. Don’t worry; you’d be under anesthesia. The place for the tooth in your jawbone or facial bones, depending on where the tooth is going, is drilled into and prepared for the implant base that will be twisted, screwed in, and anchored.

Side note: I have mentioned one-piece implants here before, but I will not bring that up just yet. Just imagine for a second that we’re using typical, two-piece implants.

After the base is screwed in nice and tight, the second piece is anchored onto it. This second piece is what the crown of the artificial tooth will fit onto. When the below-the-surface hardware has healed and integrated into the surrounding bone with no complications, the crown is installed. The crown, by now, has been formulated by the doctor after more measurements and math. In my holistic practice, it would be important for me to be sure this new tooth isn’t just some standard tooth that looks good alongside the others. This tooth must fit into the body’s naturally designed chewing system so that it does not interfere in any way with other teeth or the whole jaw. If it were to interfere, it could break, cause other teeth to wear down or break, or change how you chew in a way that might be detrimental to your jaw joints. I’ll go on about this later.

So finally, that crown is inserted and anchored into the implant site, allowed to heal, and there you have it: a brand-new tooth.

This is a problem-free version. Questions patients might have include:

What about if there is not enough bone to drill into?

What if multiple teeth in a row need to be adjusted?

How long does the entire process take?

Does it even look good afterwards?

I’m terrified of this procedure, but if I let my condition worsen, I will be infected and in pain the rest of my life. Which poison do I choose?

Oh, we’ll go over it all. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


You and Your Bite

Occlusal disease is the fancy name for “bite disease”. What? How does one’s bite become diseased, you ask? Well, there are three types of bad things that can happen to your teeth: decay (cavities), gum disease, and bite disease. We’ve discussed the first two, so here goes occlusal (bite) disease.

Occlusal disease is the condition where your bite — the way your teeth come down onto each other — is uneven, crooked, or misaligned. You may not be able to bite down all the way or chew thoroughly, and your jaw muscles must work harder for these simple tasks. Because of the unevenness, some teeth are worn down faster than others, and further wearing, breaking, or chipping of teeth may occur. The extra work on the jaw muscles also causes pain all around the jaw, mouth, head, and neck. “Aging” teeth may not be aging at all — the wear and tear is because of a bite problem long left untreated. It’s a mess!

Occlusal disease is often hard to spot. Unlike cavities or gum disease, it’s not always visually apparent. What may appear to be a randomly broken tooth could be a more severe underlying problem… and fixing just that one tooth is not going to help if the whole jaw is misaligned.

Dentists trained at The Pankey Institute develop the eyes for recognizing bite problems, making it less of a mystery to solve if one finds himself suffering the symptoms. Much research goes into fixing the problem; casts and models of your teeth are made so the dentist can see where the problem lies and how it can be adjusted (bite analysis). Occlusal disease also ties directly into bioesthetic dentistry and treating TMJ disorders. A simple, non-surgical tweaking of the muscles (most often used with a MAGO, or mouthguard-looking splint that helps “train” the muscles to realign in the correct positions) may very well be the solution to chewing food without harming your skull, and preserving functional, straight teeth well into your later years.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

How Bioesthetic Dentistry Can Help You

There are so many reports, complaints, misdiagnoses out there for/from people who do not have the slightest clue as to what is causing their headaches or jaw problems. Years of switching from doctor to doctor and medication to medication can really bog one down; it becomes his/her lifestyle, always taking medical tests and trying to find out what is going on with his/her body!

This should not be considered “normal”, especially when a solution to all of that jaw pain, neck pain, ear pain, damaged teeth, and uncomfortable, ineffective mouth movement can be easily achieved.

Bioesthetic dentistry is based on aligning the teeth to work in harmony with the Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) of the jaw to promote a naturally cooperative and functional chewing system. When your teeth are out of their places (which is often the case) — even slightly rearranged from growing up with a habit of grinding them, for example — minor adjustments are made in the mechanics of your chewing system, but major repercussions can ensue. Crookedness, wear and tear, unexplained pain and migraines, and discomfort are all symptoms of this problem.

However, bioesthetics is to the rescue. Treatment is usually easily carried out, realigning teeth and jaw joints to their proper positions, and allowing time for the muscles and tissues to strengthen and turn the correct movements into your habitual movements. Goodbye headaches, restricted/noisy jaw movement, and crooked, worn teeth; hello straight smile, comfortable chewing, and freedom!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

More About Bioesthetics

So why should you choose a dentist who practices bioesthetics? Well, a bioesthetic dentist not only understands how the chewing system as a whole unit works at its best, but has also been specially trained to restore proper functionability and harmony between all aspects of oral anatomy to those who do not have those benefits. A bioesthetic dentist knows how to fix the root problem, not just the effects we see or feel on the outside! This is very important because, as I mentioned earlier, dentists have traditionally been trained to treat those surface problems, such as worn-down teeth or jaw pain. Bioesthetics treats the culprit so you never experience those symptoms!

Another bonus is that you don’t have to keep coming back so frequently for irritating toothaches or similar hindrances to a healthy, beautiful mouth. Once it’s done, it’s done for a very, very long time!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles