Posts Tagged ‘occlusal analysis’

Details on the Puerto Rico MaxiCourse(R)

In spite of being a solid four months into this ten-month AAID/ADII Puerto Rico MaxiCourse(R), I suppose I haven’t provided enough detail that would give you a thorough understanding of what I’m doing and learning in this course on dental implantation. Now that Christmas has come and gone, it is a good time to explain.

Not a lot of emphasis has been placed on dental implants in my practice. However, I’ve been performing complex implant surgery since 1989; it is nothing new. Since my dentistry is holistically driven, I typically take the approach that avoids, as far as healthily possible, highly invasive methods of dental correction and restoration. Implants are notably invasive — certainly necessary in many cases, but still invasive.

Nevertheless, since my focus is on implants right now, that does not mean I have turned from my non- or minimally invasive ways. Comprehensive and biocompatible dentistry is still the priority here. My surgeries are performed with the end in sight, taking every factor into consideration so the end result is as functional and beautiful as possible. This exciting, hands-on refresher class at the Advanced Dental Implant Institute (among a few other places) in Puerto Rico is where we’ll find the best-of-the-best instructors and methods of learning when it comes to fine implant work.

Dr. Pedroza and Dr. Tatum are primarily heading the course. These men are the real deal. The course is immensely practical and somewhat unique in that it is about 25-30% didactic (in-class education — the “boring” part, such as lecturing and discussion) and 70-75% surgery, the hands-on, “fun” part where the knowledge is demonstrated and practiced.

Sessions 1-4 are obviously completed by now, but here’s a glimpse of what’s going on till next June when the course ends.

Session 1: Sept. 13-16, 2012 (Thursday to Sunday)
Laying the Foundations 
Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. PedrozaDr. R. Giacosie, Dr. Sangiv I. Patel

* Session 2: Oct. 13-17, 2012 (Saturday to Wednesday)
Intravenous Conscious Sedation, Soft Tissue Management, Sinus Graft Surgeries
Dr. V. Cardona, Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Pérez,
Dr. R. Giacosie

Session 3: Nov. 12-17, 2012 (Monday to Saturday)
Sedation (Part II) and Basic Surgical Techniques
Dr. Daniel Becker, Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Giacosie

Session 4: Dec 5-9, 2012 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Principles of Bone Grafting and Segmental Osteotomies
Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Pérez, Dr. R. Giacosie, Dr. Sangiv I. Patel

Session 5: Jan 9-13, 2013 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Orofacial Applied Anatomy Related to Oral Implantology
D. W. Shankland, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Giacosie

Session 6: Feb 6-10, 2013 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Maxillary Sinus Augmentation Techniques
Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Giacosie

Session 7: Mar 6-10, 2013 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Non Root Form Implants
Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J . Pedroza, Dr. R. Giacosie

Session 8: Apr 10-14, 2013 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Occlusal Considerations and Advanced Restorative Techniques
Dr. H Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. A Blanco, Dr. R. Giacosie, Dr. Sangiv I. Patel

Session 9: May 8-12, 2013 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Advanced Surgical and Prosthetic Cases
Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Giacosie

Session 10: June 5-9, 2013 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Bringing It All Together 
Dr. H. Tatum, Dr. J. Pedroza, Dr. R. Aponte

All these sessions total 360 hours of continuing education. That’s a lot! Juggling the normal office workload while giving one week per month to traveling and schooling has been tough — especially over the winter holidays — but will be a great investment in the long run.

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and that your welcoming the New Year will be blessed,

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


What Is A Malocclusion?

A malocclusion is a “bad bite.” Easy enough, right?

If a good occlusion is defined as a bite where all components of the chewing system work together harmoniously, then a bad occlusion — a malocclusion — means that the teeth do not match up and fit together when you bite down. One or more of the components involved in the chewing system may not be functioning properly, and is most likely what is causing the teeth to come down abnormally.

The funny thing is that most of us don’t realize that we have a malocclusion until we go in for an occlusal analysis. After a while, we unconsciously train our muscles to chew in a certain way, to move in a certain direction repeatedly, so that it does seem like our teeth fit together fine. But you can’t really tell the difference between what’s “normal” and what’s “really normal” until you’ve had adjustments made because you’ve been doing it a certain way for so long.

Having a malocclusion almost guarantees wear and tear on your teeth, facial muscle fatigue, and long-term damage and/or disease throughout your whole mouth and jaw area. Having your malocclusion corrected is absolutely necessary for your mouth’s health and ultimately your whole body.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

When Should An Occlusal Analysis Be Done?

The occlusal analysis, when getting ready to perform any kind of orthodontic surgery, is crucial for a dentist or orthodontist to make the best possible choices for your oral health; a substantial number of problems are avoided when we know to not move a tooth in a certain direction, or design a mouthguard that will tire the jaw in an unhealthy manner. This is comprehensive dentistry; everything works together, and everything is related! An occlusal analysis is absolutely necessary before any of the following procedures:

  • Crown, bridge, denture, or implant treatment
  • Fabrication of a bite guard
  • Orthodontic treatment (an occlusal analysis should be performed after this as well)
  • Any other time a poor bite is suspected. Pay attention to symptoms like worn, chipped, or broken teeth; gum sensitivity and/or recession; pain in facial muscles; and other symptoms similar to prolonged gum disease, such as loose teeth, bone loss, and even tooth loss.

As a small side note, gum disease can, in fact, be evidence of a poor bite. But that’s a topic for another day.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Occlusal Analysis

“Occlusal” is basically a fancy, dental-scientific word for “bite.” I have mentioned occlusal (bite) analysis in an earlier post, but if you don’t remember it, I shall reiterate:

Occlusal analysis takes a look at your bite, your entire chewing system, comprehensively observing, recording, and adjusting small areas where your bite can reach its full effective, comfortable, and long-lasting potential. This approach — analyzing the whole mouth, jaw, teeth, and their movements — is far superior to adjusting each individual tooth. Adjusting the individual teeth can lead to painful jaw malfunctions and TMJ disorders over time because of prolonged crooked movement (slight though it may be) and repetitive clenching or grinding.

Does your dentist give occlusal analyses? Should you go in for one?

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles