Cosmetic and restorative dentistry is more than placing tooth colored composite fillings instead of the silver amalgam ones. It is more than veneers, or bleaching your teeth. Cosmetic and restorative dentistry is setting up each individual patient with a treatment plan that keeps their smile in the healthiest and most beautiful condition possible. This puts Thomas L. Anderson and Associates on the top of the list as the best cosmetic dentist Kansas City has to offer! Tooth decay and gum disease are not the only concerns our dentists have when evaluating your overall oral health. There is a damage forming habit that affects a large part of our population called bruxism.
Bruxism is the jaw clenching and grinding of the teeth, often subconsciously or while sleeping; referred to as sleep bruxism. Bruxism causes are usually stress or anxiety, but it is usually caused by an abnormal bite or missing teeth. We are always surprised when a patient with evidence of severe bruxism has never been informed of the damage over time they are doing to their teeth. We always make sure to take the extra time to educate and help you maintain a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime!
When looking for a new Kansas City dentist, people often go online and search, “dentist Kansas City” and wind up wherever their search takes them. If you are one of the many people who experience jaw clenching and grind your teeth, I hope your search ends with a visit to one of our three conveniently located offices. Then we can discuss ways to fix the root cause of your bruxism, or at the very least stop the progressive damage it is doing to your teeth! Chronic jaw clenching and grinding wears down the teeth and can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth overtime. Once the enamel is worn away bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, or even complete dentures may be needed. The cost of dental repair from the wearing of the teeth can be enormous, not to mention the pain that can come along with jaw clenching. Some symptoms include waking up with jaw pain, severe headaches, and neck and shoulder pain from muscles compensating for tired jaw muscles. For some patients, the pain is unbearable and relief can be achieved in several different ways.
The most effective way is to access and treat the problem that is causing the bruxism. This is achieved in different ways depending on each individual. Missing teeth can be replaced with implants or bridges, and crown and veneer work can rebuild lost tooth structure and fractured teeth. In some cases Invisalign can be used to straighten misaligned teeth, and get your bite functioning in a way that protects the teeth overtime. If fixing the root of the bruxism is not an option for one of our patients, we recommend wearing a custom night guard for teeth grinding or custom mouthguards to protect the teeth from further damage. However these custom fit mouth guards can be very costly and many insurance companies will not cover the cost.
A frequently asked question from patients is, “Why can’t I just buy one from a drug store, like CVS or Walgreens?” The problem with trying these at home night guards is that they often make the problem worse! The put in warm water do it yourself guards are full arched and spongey, causing the patient to grind more and put more strain on the muscles. Our Kansas City dentist, Thomas L. Anderson, uses only anterior splints. When you utilize an anterior splint it does more than protect the teeth from damaging grinding it actually treats your jaw muscle, and trains it to relax. The only time our teeth should be touching is when we are chewing, or swallowing. If you are noticing your teeth touching for any other purpose slow, long term damage is being done. By sleeping with an anterior splint during the night you are not only protecting your teeth from the wear grinding causes, but you are training your jaw muscles to stay in a position that is relaxed. Long term, the protection anterior splints give to your teeth often outweighs the cost of purchasing one, because less extensive dental work is needed.
Thomas L. Anderson and Associates is a multiple dentist Kansas City office. We have four doctors, three locations, and flexible hours that work with even the busiest schedules. We are always taking new patients, and setting up treatment plans that keep them smiling beautifully for a lifetime! If you feel you may be one of the many people suffering from bruxism, make an appointment with one of our friendly dentists today. After being examined, our staff will give you all the tools you need so your oral health the healthiest it can be!