With occlusal therapy, our doctors can help lessen these negative affects and restore teeth that have been damaged by excessive tooth wear. We offer two types of nightguards to our patients who suffer from nighttime grinding, an in-house nightguard and a lab made occlusal guard. Our "in-house" nightguard is made in the office and is a less bulky and more cost effective option. Patients who have never worn an occlusal appliance or who have trouble sleeping with bulkier occlusal guards may prefer this option. For patients who are heavy grinders and have had success wearing the in house nightguard, we recommend having an occlusal guard made by our lab. These lab made occlusal guards are more costly but are much stronger and can help limit the jaw movement, which can help relieve some grinding related jaw soreness as well.
Some patients who experience heavy clenching and grinding or jaw related headaches may also benefit from an occlusal equilibration. This process is beneficial to people who suffer from a mild malocclsion, which is when your top and bottom teeth don't touch together evenly. Occlusal equilibration involves your doctor taking away small amounts of tooth structure on the occlusal surfaces (biting side) of teeth with a dental drill until all your teeth touch at the same time. The amount of tooth structure removed during this process is minimal and does not cause any deleterious effects.
For patients who suffer from a moderate or severe malocclusion, more extensive treatment options may be better. Orthodontically repositioning teeth with Invisalign is a reliable and non-invasive approach to correcting poor bites. Additionally, teeth that have lost tooth structure from grinding may be moving as a result of this loss in tooth structure. This is commonly the case for individuals who have shortened front teeth, where as tooth structure is lost from the biting surfaces, those teeth move to fill in the space. As the process continues, the teeth still touch in the same area, however, the lengths of the teeth are greatly reduced. In cases such as these, putting the teeth back where they used to be is often just the first step of treatment. Once the teeth are correctly aligned, they can be restored to recreate your ideal smile.
Restoring Worn Dentition
Restoring heavily worn teeth can help patients get their smile back, or give them the smile they always wished that had. For mild tooth wear, cosmetic bonding or veneers may be enough to give your teeth the desired look. However, for more significant wear, bonding and veneers are not strong enough to withstand heavy grinding forces and full coverage crowns are a more stable solution. Restoring teeth with crowns is also helpful for correcting certain malocclusions.
Dr. Michael Gooding has had years of additional education and training specific to understanding occlusion and Dr. Mia is following in his footsteps. At our office, you can feel confident that our doctors will give you the best care possible and will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.