Midlife Dentistry

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Midlife Dentistry 2018-01-10T17:52:22+00:00

Anti-Aging Dentistry Defined

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.

A patient being examined by a dentist

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.

Your 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.

Do any of these common midlife symptoms apply to you?

  • 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.

Have you noticed any of these telltale signs of imbalance?

Midlife Dentistry is Not Patchwork Dentistry

an illustration of a mechanic fixing a car

Patchwork Dentistry is like getting your car repaired only when it breaks down. How long do you think your car will last with that level of care?

The driver of this car is accustomed to only getting it serviced when it breaks down. Even then, she just wants the quickest, most inexpensive fix to get it moving again. How long do you think her car will last with this kind of treatment?

If she approaches her dental care this way, her teeth and gums just won’t last. She’ll patch up a tooth when it hurts or wait until her gums are puffy or bleeding before she cares for them. That’s called “patchwork dentistry” and it’s like playing Russian Roulette with your dental health. It usually catches up with you by midlife.

Midlife Dentistry is Not Drive-Thru Dentistry

an illustration of a woman in a fast-food drive-through

Smile in a Box?

It’s not about slapping on veneers or crowns, getting implants in a day or straightening as fast as possible. That’s not to say that these procedures can’t be as quick as some dentists promise. It just means that if your head, neck or jaw is out of balance, you need to correct that first.

Otherwise, you’ll most certainly wind up with a bite that’s not comfortable and a jaw, head or neck problem that gets worse as you chew. If you want your investment in cosmetics to last, you want it sitting on a sound structure.

Now You Know What It’s Not. What IS Midlife Dentistry Then?

Most patients who come to Dr. Pete have already decided that they want to keep their smiles for the rest of their lives. They care about how they look and realize that, just like many things in life, a smile can start to break down, even if they’ve had great teeth their entire life. They also care that things are done right. When you’ve made the decision to restore your smile you want to know that no aspect of your treatment is overlooked.

Most of our Midlife Dental patients know they need a diverse treatment program. From building up teeth that have worn down over the years, to getting gums back in good health to assessing the absolute best options for their own mouths and chewing function, the Midlife Dental patient is no longer interested in patchwork or drive-thru remedies.

In fact, some people coming to Dr. Pete have searched all over for someone who can address all of their issues. Some of these people felt their cases were “challenging.” In actual truth, their cases weren’t challenging at all – they just needed to find someone with the experience who could accurately diagnose AND treat the real problem.

Over 40 Years Treating Thousands of Patients for Just About Every Condition and Seeing a Pattern of Symptoms in the Midlife Mouth

The following 4 vital components of a complete treatment gives you Midlife Dentistry:

  1. Treats the actual source of your head and neck pain by correcting structure and restoring balance to your head, neck and jaw. Once your balance is achieved, the Midlife Dentistry treatment program ensures your dental work doesn’t throw it off-balance again! Cosmetic work needs to be sitting on a sound foundation in order to feel right.
  2. It uses all the procedures available in dentistry under one roof with no bias to one or the other. We’re not limited to using only certain procedures. This puts an end to running all over town for dental procedures. It also means we can oversee every aspect of your treatment to ensure your balance is maintained. Plus, the convenience of having everything done in one office also means that you can often combine procedures in one visit. So, your program usually takes less time in the chair.
  3. It ensures the primary role of dentistry is never overlooked: your natural chewing function. Cosmetic work that compromises natural chewing can lead to health problems. Implants, veneers, crowns and straightening should be done in conjunction with restoring or saving your natural teeth and ensuring the gums are healthy. So what you wind up with is your own natural teeth restored where possible, healthier gums and just the right cosmetic enhancements for your mouth. All in a well-balanced jaw.
  4. Natural-looking aesthetics means your crowns and veneers actually blend in with your own teeth. Not only that, they feel like part of your natural chewing function. We work closely with technicians to make crowns and veneers that are finished off by hand to get that completely customized look and feel that you just can’t get with a machine alone. The work that must look and feel 100% natural in your mouth is crafted to our exact specifications by seasoned technicians.

The Dental Condition That Will Prematurely Age You If Left Untreated

You hear a lot about preventing gum disease and tooth loss. But do you know why these conditions are given so much press? Understanding the reason will enable you to make better decisions about your dental health.

Let’s say your gums bleed when you brush. They’re a little puffy and red. They’re inflamed. This is called “gingivitis,” meaning your gum pockets are shallow – maybe 1-3 millimeters.

Ok, so you let it go, skip your regular cleanings and the next time you come to the dentist your gum pocket depths are 4 millimeters or greater. At that point it’s progressed to “periodontal disease.” The inflammation is most commonly found to be infection – “bugs” – eating away at your underlying bone.

Left untreated, you will lose your teeth. Periodontal disease is the greatest cause of tooth loss after age 45.

You don’t have to have gum disease, though, to suffer tooth loss. Fracture, particularly from old amalgam fillings, is a common reason for losing a tooth. It’s one reason to replace your old fillings with white nonmetallic filling material. That silver amalgam filling expands and contracts and over time, and can cause hairline fractures in your tooth. Since you can’t see the fractures, you don’t realize how weak the tooth has become. It may not even bother you. But, like driving around with a windshield filled with hairline fractures, all it requires is one forceful blow and the tooth can crack.

If a tooth is in the back of the mouth, some believe it doesn’t need to be replaced once it’s lost. However, keep this in mind:

“Periodontal disease or tooth loss, if left untreated, begin the silent progression of Oral Bone Loss.”

So, it’s the bone loss that’s ultimately of concern when talking about gum disease or tooth loss prevention. Bone loss is shrinkage (called “resorption”) of the tooth supporting jawbone. Shrinkage of the bone leads to degeneration of facial bone. With a reduction in overall facial bone, the structure holding your muscle and skin in place collapses. Hence, a sagging face.

The End Result is You Get What You Want

multi-disciplined background and over 40 years experience enables Dr. Pagano to provide what patients refer to as “the most thorough exam I’ve ever had.” That leads to a treatment program that can alleviate causes of many of the common symptoms listed above.

If you’re interested in preserving your teeth for the rest of you life, if you want to restore your smile to what it used to be or get the smile you’ve always wanted, and if you want to get everything done under the supervision of one doctor who can treat your entire case in the correct sequence, then contact us to schedule a Midlife Dentistry Exam and Findings Consultation, complete with Study Models. This includes:

  1. Set of custom study models for more accurate diagnosis;
  2. A comprehensive Exam covering all 4 Vital Components and Discovering the Cause of Your Symptoms;
  3. Photos of your teeth and gums; and
  4. Report of Findings Consultation.