Get to Know Jaw Joints

Good dental function is significantly associated with better brain function, better vision, better hearing, better lung volume, better heart volume, better muscle strength, better bone mineral content, less heart attacks and longer life.
(SOURCE: British Medical Journal — 1989 & Community Dental Oral Epidemiology — 1990)

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Orthopedic Dentistry: Do You Have These Symptoms of Imbalance?

Natural Chewing Function Relies On Precision Balance

  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Neck aches.
  • Facial pain with increased pressure in your head and sinuses.
  • You wake up with headaches or develop them by midday.
  • You have pain behind your eyes for no apparent reason.
  • You have sounds in your ears, but your doctor can’t find anything wrong.
  • You notice your smile is getting crooked as teeth wear down unevenly.
  • You’ve had an increase in root canals, especially on one side of your mouth.
  • You have neck and low back pain that creates inactivity.
  • Your bite isn’t the same since getting cosmetic dental work.
Correct the Problem and The Symptoms Go Away. That’s Done By Balancing  Your Head, Neck and Jaw Before Doing Dental Work.
That’s What Orthopedic Dentistry Is All About. It Also Ensures Your Cosmetic Enhancements Don’t Create Imbalance.

In a perfectly constructed mouth, the teeth and jaw fit together to perform the function of chewing.  The slightest adjustment to a tooth can throw this precise functioning off-balance. Even the replacement of a filling can make your bite feel different if it’s not balanced correctly. If not adjusted right away, it can lead to problems ranging from indigestion to causing your jaw joints to move out of place.

If just a simple filling requires such precision, imagine the skill required in placing veneers or implants while ensuring they not only look great but are completely natural in their feel and fit.

Like a perfectly calibrated bridge constructed to withstand all of the elements of weather and carry immense weight, your teeth and jaw are designed to a precision measured in millimeters. The ability to work with the precision of an engineer and the talent of a master artisan ensures your dental outcome is both healthy and beautiful.

Anti-Aging Dentistry Defined

Dr Pete & Martha and Friends Yvonne & Ken Are Grateful for Good Health

Dr Pete & Martha, Along with Friends Yvonne & Ken, Are Grateful for Good Health.

Alignment and Balance Can Help Prevent “Dental Aging.”
Have You Noticed Any of These Telltale Signs of Imbalance?

  • Thinning of your lips.
  • Wrinkles or sagging around your mouth and jaw.
  • A wearing down of your teeth causing your chin to get closer to your nose.
  • You avoid chewing on one side of your mouth.
  • You have missing or cracked teeth.
  • You don’t smile for pictures anymore.
  • You noticed facial pain with increased pressure in your head and sinuses.
  • You put your hand over your mouth when you smile.
  • You notice your smile is getting crooked as teeth wear down unevenly.
  • You’ve had an increase in root canals, especially on one side of your mouth.
  • You have neck and low back pain that creates inactivity.

SPECIAL OFFER: If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, schedule your
Super-Thorough Cleaning, 5-Point Dental Exam and X-Rays for just $116 – a savings of over $200.
Call 314-576-3000.

If you’re over the age of forty and have considered cosmetic dental work, you’ll want to know some of the principles behind Anti-Aging Dentistry, also known as Midlife DentistryYour head, neck and jaw need to be in balance in order for cosmetic dental work to rest on a sound structure. This will save you from redoing procedures.

As you age your teeth wear down, often causing an uneven bite. This can lead to unexplained pain in the head and neck area. If not addressed, you may seek medical treatment for pain caused by this dental condition.

Your teeth and gums are part of an interrelated structure that includes your head, neck and jaw. Anti-aging dentistry or Midlife Dentistry, is a comprehensive program that ensures your chewing function feels natural when your work is complete. Along with appearance, your concern with any cosmetic dental work, should also be balance. That way, your treatment is done correctly the first time and can last longer.

Dr. Pete’s 30+ years of experience and training  ensures your cosmetic dental work will last, integrates with your own natural chewing function, and doesn’t create a structural imbalance leading to pain.

3D Imaging Allows for More Precise Placement of Dental Implants

3D Imaging Allows
for More Precise Placement of Dental Implants

The Latest In Imaging Technology

At Artistic Dentistry, we update your smile using the latest technology as well as Dr Pete’s more than 30+ years experience and training in nearly every dental procedure.

SPECIAL OFFER:
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, schedule your
Super-Thorough Cleaning, 5-Point Dental Exam and X-Rays for just $116 – a savings of over $200. 

Call 314-576-3000.

 

 

In The Beginning Was The Orthopedic Dental Exam

An exam by any other name…Is not an exam.

A typical dental exam checks your teeth for cavities and your gums for disease and stops there. It doesn’t include examining your jaw joints and their impact on your dental health and your overall health. This more comprehensive dental exam is important in “orthopedic dentistry,” which ensures your jaw joints are balanced.

An “orthopedic dentistry” exam notes the teeth position and function of your teeth and their supporting structures; an analysis of how your teeth fit together when you bite down; an examination of your chewing and speech — and the movement of your jaws and joints and how they impact all of the above.

Taking the exam even further, the experience of the practitioner determines how much he/she is able to detect. Usually, a dentist doesn’t see much beyond what he or she can treat. At Artistic Dentistry, we treat nearly any dental situation — from root canals to orthodontics to cosmetics to identifying the “mysterious” reason for a tooth problem. In short, the scope of responsibility your practitioner is willing to take depends upon his/her knowledge.

Your teeth and mouth tell a story. Your mouth, gums and jaws indicate much about your overall health. Aside from your dental condition — I can sometimes detect conditions like osteoporosis, leukemia, cancer and even bulimia.

A young woman came to me with tonsils that had been swollen for fifteen years. She had regular dental care while growing up and five years of orthodontics. Neither her dentist or her orthodontist had suggested she see a specialist about the swollen tonsils. I queried her about a list of symptoms I suspected she was suffering from, including chronic fatigue. Wide-eyed, she sat up in my chair and asked “how do you know all this about me?” I immediately referred her to a surgeon who diagnosed that her condition as life-threatening.

A man came to me after spending $50,000 on cosmetic dental treatment. The doctor overseeing the case only performed cosmetic procedures and had referred him to several specialists to perform various phases, such as root canals, extractions, etc. After two years of treatment and expense, the patient still had lower crooked teeth. Why? The specialist overseeing his case didn’t perform orthodontics and told this patient he didn’t need it. After spending $50,000 to rehab your mouth, wouldn’t you want straight teeth? In our office, the steps of his treatment program would have been put in a sequential order that would have included orthodontics at the correct stage.

A dentist with multi-disciplinary skills sees beyond a limited set of procedures. So, the next time my staff in St Louis calls to get you scheduled for your cleaning and exam, you should know that this is one of the most important visits to the dentist you can make. If you value the health of your mouth and plan to keep your teeth for a lifetime, then we’re both on the same page.

What is Orthopedic Cosmetic Dentistry?

“Orthopedic Cosmetic Dentistry” is not a recognized specialty. Rather, it is a term we use in our office to describe the sequence in which your cosmetic dental work is done which results in a dazzling smile that sits in a structurally sound foundation.

Think of your teeth and gums as the inside of a house and your jaw and head bones as the structure and foundation. Once we ensure that the structure is balanced and stable – which often includes treatment that eliminates headaches, teeth grinding and other unwanted conditions – then the restorative and cosmetic treatments on your teeth and gums can be performed on a stable foundation. This results in cosmetic treatment that lasts, a bite that feels natural, and eliminates the concern of having to re-do work somewhere up the line.

One patient described her condition this way before treatment: “There was no comfortable place for my teeth to fit together. My jaw was constantly searching for a resting position. It was fatigued, making it impossible for my muscles to relax, which led to muscle tension and headaches.” Balancing her jaw joints addressed this problem.

You can read more about orthopedic dentistry in Dr. Pete’s free downloadable ebook: Lifetime Smile.

Are You A Night Grinder?

Teeth grinding is when you clench your top and bottom teeth together or grind your teeth back and forth over each other. Because it’s a subconscious muscle activity, most grinders grind without realizing it, until a fragmented tooth or facial soreness or other symptom occurs.

It is estimated that 10-15 percent of Americans moderately or severely grind their teeth. Normally, we exert about 20 to 30 pounds per square inch on our back molars when we chew. but teeth grinders, especially at night without restraint, can exert up to as much as 200 pounds per square inch on their teeth.

The relentless wear and tear at night from grinding can quickly erode enamel, fracture teeth, affect bite and damage the temporomandibular joint at the hinge of the jaw, and the masseter muscle, which controls the jaws. Jaw and face pain as well as earaches and headaches may also occur.

Having treated this condition for over thirty years, I’ve helped many night grinders eliminate their problems.

*Some information for this article was taken from NY Times article of October 2009: When Stress Takes a Toll on Your Teeth.

Should You Restore or Replace Teeth In the Back of Your Mouth?

The answer depends on whether you want to preserve your jawline, chew your food well and avoid digestive problems.

The distance between your nose and chin is detemined by your back teeth. So your entire face, lips and smile is dependent on your back teeth.

The teeth in the back of your mouth serve a vital chewing function. If that function is compromised due to missing or broken down teeth that need to be capped or replaced, the entire chewing mechanism is compromised.

This sets the scene for more tooth loss in the future. Besides, it reduces the ability to chew up your food and puts the brunt of digestion on your stomach. This often results in gastointestinal problems.

So, replacing missing teeth or getting crowns in the back of your mouth is not a cosmetic decision — but a decision in favor of maintaining overall health.

Do You Have Symptoms of Imbalance?

Headaches or migraines.
Neck aches.
Facial pain with increased pressure in your head and sinuses.
You wake up with headaches or develop them by midday.
You have pain behind your eyes for no apparent reason.
You have sounds in your ears, but your doctor can’t find anything wrong.
You notice your smile is getting crooked as teeth wear down unevenly.
You’ve had an increase in root canals, especially on one side of your
mouth.
You have neck and low back pain that creates stiffness and inability to
perform tasks.
Your bite isn’t the same since getting cosmetic dental work.
You have head pain since your orthodontics.

Correct the Problem and These Symptoms Go Away. That’s Done By Balancing Your Head, Neck and Jaw Before Doing Dental Work. That’s What Orthopedic Dentistry Is All About. It Also Ensures Your Cosmetic Enhancements Don’t Create An Imbalance.

In a perfectly constructed mouth, the teeth and jaw fit together to perform the function of chewing. The slightest adjustment to a tooth can throw this precise functioning off-balance. Even the replacement of a filling can make your bite feel different if it’s not balanced correctly and if not adjusted, can cause your jaw joints to move out of place.

If just a simple filling requires such precision, imagine the skill required in placing veneers or implants while ensuring they not only look great but are completely natural in their feel and fit.

Like a perfectly balanced bridge constructed to withstand the elements of weather and carry immense weight, your teeth and jaw are designed with a similar precision. The ability to work with the precision of an engineer and the talent of a master artisan ensures your dental outcome is both sound and beautiful.