4400 Jenifer St. NW #340 Washington, DC 20015

Current Patients (202) 686-9100

New Patients (202) 455-0901

Bite Health & Function Washington, DC Dentist

Patients who suffer from symptoms of Temporomandibular 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 associated with the breakdown of the jaw joint (TMJ).

Common Symptoms of Bite Problems:

Teeth

  • Wear
  • Sensitivity
  • Mobility
  • Fracture
  • Failing fillings
  • Gingival recession
  • Loose teeth

Muscles

  • Headaches
  • Sore and tired facial muscles
  • Difficulty eating
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Difficulty swallowing

TMJ

  • Joint noises such as clicking or grinding noises
  • Pain in the TMJ
  • Difficulty eating
  • Limited mouth opening and deviation on opening
  • Ringing in the ears

There is no one size fits all solution for any dental problem, particularly in regards to TMJ disorders. Each problem is unique to the individual patient and treatment planning is entirely dependent on the diagnosis.

Services may include: 

Bite Evaluations

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 commitment to the latest technologies allows us to be even more thorough and accurate in the assessment of your bite.

Minimally Invasive Bite Adjustments

When symptoms caused by bite issues are present, we aim to resolve these symptoms with the least invasive corrections possible. Sometimes, the teeth can be aligned properly but still do not fit together ideally. Wear, previous restorations, and the shape of the biting surface can also contribute to the presence of symptoms. By using digital tools to assess the bite and project correctional options virtually, we are able to determine the best and most conservative course of treatment. Minor reshaping of the biting surface may be the most minimally invasive correction that results in an even and comfortable bite.

Minor Clear Retainer Tooth Movement

Clear, near-invisible retainers have revolutionized orthodontic treatment, achieving the same results as traditional braces without many of the downsides. When worn consistently, clear retainers move the teeth in small increments and can complete minor cosmetic corrections in a matter of months. In addition to cosmetic improvements, orthodontic movement of teeth can help create a stable, even, and comfortable bite. Our office uses your digital mouth scans to create retainers that will gradually move your teeth to a straight position. For more involved orthodontic needs, we work as a team with some of the area’s best orthodontists.

Extensive Restorative Care-Full Mouth Restoration

We follow a 4-step comprehensive approach:

1. Comprehensive Evaluation

Dr. Cobb or Dr. Cima will carefully assess the teeth, gums, mouth, jaw joints, and muscles, looking for signs of decay, stress, or instability. Because many of a patient’s cosmetic dental concerns are caused by functional abnormalities, it is important to correct any health or functional problems prior to making cosmetic improvements to ensure there is no recurrence of either the cosmetic or functional concerns.

2. Solution Planning

The 3Shape design software allows Dr. Cobb and Cima to design solutions with immense efficiency and precision. Using 2D and 3D schematics, patients are able to view proposed corrective actions and results before any irreversible treatment is started.

Our approach to designing solution plans in more complex cases relies on two rules from Dr. Peter Dawson, a mentor, colleague, and dear friend of Dr. Cobb’s:

Rule 1: We always seek to solve the problems with the least amount of dentistry

Rule 2: “WIDIOM”— Would I Do It On Me?


3. Tooth Shaping and Prototypes

3D printing models of the solution design provide a road map for tooth shaping and prototypes, improving accuracy and reducing invasiveness. Prototypes are frequently printed ahead of time to supply a precise representation of anticipated results. Traditionally the term “temporaries” has been used for these interim restorations. Prototypes more accurately portray the final result and allow for a “test drive” to confirm that planned treatments achieve desired cosmetic results and are functionally comfortable.

4. Final Restorations

Permanent restorative elements used for the final cosmetic procedures— such as crowns, porcelain veneers, and dental bridges— are produced at a state-of-the-art dental laboratory. We team with some of the country’s top dental laboratories and ceramists. Exact specifications using 2-D and 3-D modeling provide the laboratory with everything they need to achieve the best possible result.

Because of this comprehensive design process, the application of the final restoration is not a guess, but a predictable dependable result that feels comfortable, looks natural, and functions optimally.

Implant Restorations and Implant Supported Prosthesis

Traditional dentures can feel like they cause more problems than they solve, coming loose at inconvenient times, reducing self-confidence, and placing 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 when remaining teeth move into the gaps left behind. Designed to restore both appearance and function to a patient’s smile, dental implants are by far the most advanced and comprehensive solution for missing teeth. Our expert implantology team is able to restore anything from a single tooth to a full set. The work of our team is so cosmetically and functionally realistic that most patients cannot discern between the implants and their natural teeth.

Removable Appliances

Fortunately, there are many solutions even when extensive care is needed but 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 that ensure patients receive optimal care and results they want regardless of their circumstances.  3D printed solutions are not meant to last forever but can be used as an efficacious “bridge” while waiting for long-term definitive care to be staged over time.