Addressing Bite Disorders & TMJ Pain
Patients who suffer from symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD) often have an imbalance in their bite and supporting structures; including the masticatory muscles and jaw joint (TMJ). Overloading this dynamic system can cause premature wear, breakdown, facial pain from muscle hyperactivity, and pain from the breakdown of the TMJ.
Some of the common symptoms of bite problems include:
- Tooth wear
- Chipped teeth
- Tooth fractures
- Failing fillings
- Gingival (gum) recession
- Loose teeth
- Sore and tight facial muscles
- Difficulty eating
- Limited mouth opening
- Difficulty swallowing
- Damaged tissue on the inside of your cheek
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues
- Joint noises such as clicking or grinding noises
- Pain in the TMJ
- Difficulty eating
- Teeth grinding
- Locked jaw or limited jaw mobility
- Limited mouth opening and deviation on opening
- Ringing in the ears
There is no one size fits all fix for any dental problem, particularly in regards to TMJ disorders. Each problem is unique to the individual patient. Furthermore, treatment planning is entirely dependent on the diagnosis. The services that we provide for treatment include:
- Bite health evaluations
- Minimally invasive bite adjustments
- Orthodontic Tooth Movement
- Extensive restorative care when indicated-Full mouth rehabilitation
- Implant restorations and Implant-supported prosthesis
- Removable Appliances
- Interim 3D Printed Restorations
Step 1: Bite Evaluations
A bite evaluation is not just a routine part of dental care. It can help identify underlying problems and prevent them from getting worse. An uneven bite can cause a myriad of different problems in each patient. A thorough and complete examination is necessary to determine the scope and severity of problems with your bite.
Our dentist will take an X-ray of the jaw and then use a bite plate to evaluate the bite pattern. The dentist will then use this information to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment options. Our commitment to the latest technologies allows us to be extremely thorough and accurate in the assessment of your bite. Visit our dental practice in Chevy Chase, MD for an evaluation.
Step 2: Minimally Invasive Bite Adjustments
When bite issue symptoms are present, we aim to resolve these symptoms with the least invasive corrections possible. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment can align the teeth properly, but they still do not ideally fit together. Tooth wear, previous restorations, and the shape of the biting surface can also contribute to the presence of symptoms.
We are able to determine the best and most conservative course of treatment with digital tools. Digital tools to assess the bite and project correctional options virtually. Minor reshaping of the biting surface may be the most minimally invasive correction that results in an even and comfortable bite. Straightening your teeth with orthodontic options would be the next best thing.
Step 3: Extensive Restorative Care: Full Mouth Restoration
If there are several complex issues affecting the function and health of the bite, Dr. Cobb and Dr. Cima offer a comprehensive approach to both diagnostics and treatment planning. The goal is to establish a plan of treatment that restores comfort, stability, and aesthetics while supporting long-term dental health.
A full mouth restoration or rehabilitation takes into account the entire occlusal system, including teeth, gums, and jaw joints. We use a four-step approach that can solve the underlying oral health problems and provide a predictable solution. Using digital technology to evaluate, analyze and create prototypes, we can “test-drive” the outcome before placing the final restoration(s) for a sustainable result.
Implant Restorations and Implant Supported Prosthesis
Traditional dentures can feel like they cause more problems than they solve. For example, coming loose at inconvenient times, reducing self-confidence, and making certain foods off-limits. Not only can missing teeth be a serious detriment to a patient’s self-confidence, but it can also take a toll on physical health. Missing teeth can lead to difficulty eating, jawbone degeneration, misalignment, and overcrowding.
Dental implants are by far the best comprehensive solution for missing teeth. Our expert implantology team is able to restore anything from a single tooth to a full set of missing teeth. The work of our implant dentist is so cosmetically and functionally realistic that most patients cannot discern between the implants and their natural teeth.
Fortunately, there are many solutions even when the issue needs extensive restoration dentistry care. Unfortunately, cost can be a determining factor. Some traditional ways of replacing some or all teeth are becoming a lost art. Removable prostheses can provide a very cosmetic and functional solution. Whether replacing some teeth, all teeth, or in combination with other tooth restorations, Dr. Cobb and Dr. Cima can provide a solution that meets your goals.
- Removable Appliances
- Precision Removable Appliances designed with fixed restorations for a seamless fit
- Complete Dentures
Interim 3D Printed Restorations
In certain circumstances, long-term interim restorations are necessary to improve the smile and establish natural, comfortable function. Treatment complexities, specialist care, and cost are all potential reasons to utilize interim restorations. With Digital Dentistry, we can design and print long-term and cost-efficient restorations. Patients receive optimal care and results they want regardless of their circumstances. 3D printed solutions do not last forever, but they can act as an efficacious “bridge” while waiting for a definitive long-term care plan.