Dental Implants

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TMJ treatment: Dental implants

dental-implantsAny type of disruption to your natural bite, which refers to the natural alignment of your teeth, can lead to TMJ. The temporomandibular joint consists of the temporal bone – part of your skull -, the mandible or lower jaw bone and the joint that attaches the temporal bone to the mandible. You use these areas of your mouth when you eat, talk and chew.

One or more missing teeth changes your bite and causes those bones and joints to shift positions. Both macro-trauma, which includes severe trauma to the face, and micro-trauma, which includes repetitive and stress injuries, can lead to tooth loss. Statistics show that most patients who suffer from TMJ develop the disorder after losing one or more teeth.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants for TMJ treatment are a type of irreversible treatment used in patients who still suffered from symptoms after trying other methods.

It consists of three different parts and requires that the doctor uses three separate steps. The implant itself features a metal construction or a construction made from another durable material that the dentist implants inside a gap in your smile to replace the root of a missing tooth. An abutment, which is a small metal or resin piece that holds the crown in place, screws directly onto the base.

In the last step, the doctor will create a crown that mimics the natural color and size of your teeth and attach that crown on top of the abutment. Also known as osseointegration, which is a Latin word that refers to the process of blending a bone and an implant together, the implant restores the balance of your natural bite, which reduces stress on your joints and in turn reduces or eliminates your TMJ symptoms.

Why choose dental implants over dentures?

before-after-implantsOne missing tooth does not mean that you need dentures, and most patients do not require dentists even if they have several missing teeth. Dental implants work best in patients with one or several missing teeth, and the doctor will surgically implant the device in your jaw. With proper care, you can live with the appliance for 20 years or longer.

Dentures, better known to some as false teeth, consists of multiple resin or porcelain teeth applied to a lightweight but lightweight base. Patients can slide the device inside their mouths and secure it with a small amount of adhesive. While dentures can provide some relief in the same way that TMJ implants do, the only people who can use dentures are those who have a large number of missing teeth and those who have so many decayed and damaged teeth that the doctor needs to remove those teeth.

What are snap in dentures?

Snap in dentures are a quick fix for loose dentures and can usually be done with mini implants in a single visit.  These are sometimes used alone as a single treatment  and other times are used to give instant improvement  while more complex restorations and implants are done.  Ideally patients are looking and feeling good throughout the entire treatment process.

The main difference between the two appliances is that an implant can replace a single tooth and is a permanent change, while dentures replace multiple teeth and are a temporary solution.

Are implants the right option for you?

Do you want to know if the cause of your TMJ is missing teeth or a tooth? Those spaces created by those broken, damaged and missing teeth can change the way you bite down and interfere with the way your mouth moves, which places additional strain on the temporomandibular joint.

To find out if dental implants are the right choice for you and to learn more about other treatments that can help you reduce the pain that you feel, stop in for a free consultation today.

Dental Crowns and Bridges

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Strengthen your bite with dental crowns and bridges

dental-crowns-and-bridges-chicagoThat tooth that you lost or broke back in high school can cause you a multitude of problems later. TMJ is often caused by trauma to the teeth or jaw. Jaw trauma can be classified as:

  • Micro-trauma: smaller injuries such as cracked, broken or missing teeth
  • Macro-trauma: larger injuries like a broken or dislocated jaw
  • Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is another cause of tooth trauma.

Whether dental trauma or simple tooth neglect has lead to one missing tooth or several broken or missing teeth, the changes they cause to your bite can lead to TMJ. Dental crowns and bridges could help.

Stabilize with dental crowns

If you have a tooth that requires a root canal or a filling, but your tooth isn’t strong enough or large enough to hold that filling, your dentist will recommend a dental crown. Made from resin, stainless steel, or porcelain, these small dental “caps” are just as strong as your natural teeth. We also use tooth crowns on teeth that:

  • show severe signs of decay
  • interfere with your natural bite
  • have grown in crooked or misaligned
  • or to top off a dental implant

As a TMJ treatment, this simple dental restoration repairs damaged teeth to bring balance back to your bite, reducing the pain and strain on your temporomandibular joint.

Reconnect with a dental bridge

tmj-dental-bridgeWhen you suffer oral trauma, disease or decay that causes you to lose one or more teeth, the missing spaces can cause a misalignment in your jaw, leading to painful TMJ symptoms. A dental bridge literally bridges the gap left by the missing tooth/teeth to restore your bite and bring a healthy balance back to your jaw.

Dr Shapira begins the treatment by placing crowns on the the teeth on either side of the gap. There are called the abutment teeth. The bridge is attached to the abutments, just like the bridge you cross on the way to work. Made from porcelain, metal or resin, the bridge not only helps to treat TMJ, it also enhances your smile.

Find confidence, lose pain

When you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, the impacts can feeling self-conscious about your smile. Many patients discover that they have back pain, chronic headaches and other symptoms that keep them from living their regular lives.

Can repairing or replacing your teeth help you resolve your TMJ pain? Find out by booking a dental crowns and bridges consultation with Dr. Shapira.