Mercury-Free Dental Restorations
Both for cosmetic and health safety reasons we at Health Centered Dentistry use only tooth-colored (composite) filling materials. Sometimes due to esthetic concerns, health concerns, or both, patients wish to have their old silver / amalgam (mercury containing) fillings replaced. At other times, due to new decay developing around the edges of previously placed silver / amalgam fillings, we must restore teeth that contain mercury. The Doctors at Health Centered Dentistry strongly believe in the safe handling of these toxic materials and has been trained in the protocols for safe removal of silver / amalgam / mercury fillings. We take every precaution to protect the patient, doctor, dental team, and our office from exposure to these hazardous materials. Just as modern medicine must be very careful to use hypo-allergenic materials for knee replacement, bone repair, hip replacement, and other procedures, dental materials must be similarly analyzed. At Health Centered Dentistry we use the filling material that has been independently determined to be the best for the majority of the population.
Physical therapy for the tongue and facial muscles to restore normal function. The goal is to disorganize poor oral habits and re-pattern to optimize oral and facial function. Improper function of the head/neck muscles, lips and tongue can cause issues with speech, breathing, sleep, growth, chewing, swallowing, immunity, myofascial tension, TMJ and other seemingly unrelated issues.
Orthopedic Orthodontic Treatment
We perform Functional Jaw Orthopedics (FJO), also known as Orthopedic Orthodontics, whose focus is providing the best possible structural foundation for the teeth and jaws while reducing / eliminating the need for extractions. According to leaders in the field, in approximately 90% of cases where extractions are recommended, FJO can provide excellent results without removing teeth that are not 3rd molars. This is a progressive form of treatment that uses both fixed and removable appliances to straighten teeth and jaws, allowing us to get good results while addressing a wide range of complex cases. FJO treatment works with natural jaw / mouth growth and development to help patients obtain their optimal oral and physical health, resulting in beautiful broad smiles.
Functional Jaw Orthopedics treat patients at an earlier age when problems can be recognized, and usually aims to make enough room in the jaws for teeth to fit. This technique usually results in broader, healthier smiles. Traditional orthodontics treats later on in life, usually with more extractions of teeth, which can result in narrower smiles, retruded (flattened) profiles, and loss of vertical support. Functional Jaw Orthopedics is progressive and, most importantly, shows excellent clinical results – wider smiles.
Excellent Reference Material and Videos for Functional Jaw Orthopedics: Functional Jaw Orthopedics with the ALF Appliance – Educational website for the ALF National Health Report: Straight Teeth With A Healthier Twist – Dr. Darick Nordstrom Dr. William Hang https://facefocused.com/
If gone uncorrected these types of facial / oral / dental / cranial imbalances can result in improper adult development that is difficult to correct. When these issues are addressed at an early age, better and longer lasting results can be achieved.
TMJ / TMD Treatment
For over 20 years the Doctors at Health Centered Dentistry have been treating patients suffering from dysfunctions of the Temporo Mandibular Joint. Patients often come to us at Health Centered Dentistry looking for non-surgical alternative therapies that may be able to relieve their pain and suffering. Years of training and clinical experience has resulted in a very high rate of success with these types of cases. Rather than focus on simply eliminating the symptoms, at Health Centered Dentistry our goal is to remedy the underlying causes of the problem.
Cavitation / Osteonecrosis Detection with CT Scan
Ischemic osteonecrosis (bone death due to poor blood supply) is a disease of the entire skeleton – i.e., it can affect any bone in the body. It is best known as a hip condition, yet it is actually more common in the jawbone. This fact has, however, gone unacknowledged by mainstream medicine and dentistry. A jawbone cavitation is simply a hollow space or pocket in the bone; which is not visible to the eye and often causes no local discomfort, though it can be the hidden cause of facial pain. The chief initiating factor is trauma to the jaw, often brought on by standard dental treatment.
You may think that if you had an infection in your jaw, you would know it. Surely there would be pain, inflammation, tenderness – and your dentist would find the problem in the course of your routine check-ups. WRONG! Chronic osteomyelitis (cavitation) of the jawbone is not characterized by the usual signs of infection (inflammation, redness, fever, pus) – it most often is a silent, undetected, condition.
Surprisingly it’s a condition dentists are not trained in school to recognize. In fact, they’re not even taught that it exists. This is difficult to believe since cavitations in the jawbone are not a new discovery; it was described as early as 1848 by Thomas Bond in the first oral pathology book.
DETECTION: We use 3D (three-dimensional) cone-beam x-rays to help diagnose the presence of compromised bone and potentially infected areas; applied kinesiology, electro-dermal /electro-acupuncture, and thermography are also viable diagnostic tools. ***Despite extensive proof and documentation of these diagnostic methods the dental/medical community (and insurance companies) only accept positive lab results from the culturing of biopsied tissues as proof of cavitation/jawbone infection.
Kavo Diagnodent™ Caries Detection
Laser Cavity Detection with the Kavo Diagnodent™. Our office is one of a few in the area to offer this new technology for early detection of cavities. The Kavo Diagnodent™ system uses a laser to detect fluorescence in enamel and dentin. Healthy tooth structures show very little fluorescence (does not absorb the light), but decayed tooth structure does fluoresce (absorbs and then releases light energy). Measurements from the Diagnodent™, in conjunction with x-rays, and visual examination help Dr. Laughlin determine whether to monitor suspect areas over time, treat them with preventive therapy, or restore them. The system allows much earlier detection of decay than previously possible. Previously dentists have used explorers, magnification, x-rays and cavity detecting solutions to diagnose decay, but studies on extracted teeth showed that early decay was still being missed. Now this system in conjunction with digital x-ray imaging allows us to detect decay much earlier, before it gets large or painful.
Snoring / Breathing / Sleep Apnea – Appliance Therapy
Sleep apnea afflicts between 12 and 18 million Americans. A 2003 study in JAMA reported that one in five adults has some degree of sleep apnea / Obstructed Sleep Apnea (OSA) and is moderately severe in one person out of 15. This may make OSA the most under-diagnosed condition in the U.S. The classic picture of obstructive sleep apnea includes episodes of heavy snoring that begin soon after falling asleep. The snoring proceeds at a regular pace for a period of time, often becoming louder, but is then interrupted by a long silent period during which no breathing is taking place (apnea). The apnea is then interrupted by a loud snort and gasp and the snoring returns to its regular pace. This behavior recurs frequently throughout the night. This continuously interrupted sleep pattern prevents patients with this condition from getting to the most beneficial level of sleep called REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Persons with OSA never get the benefits of REM sleep which can leave them constantly sleepy and fatigued.
If you answer “YES” to any of the following questions it is highly likely you have some level of sleep apnea.
- Do you snore on a regular basis? Does your snoring cause you or your sleeping partner to wake up?
- Do you ever wake up suddenly, gasping or choking for air?
- Do you experience excessive sleepiness / fatigue during the day? Do you often have trouble staying awake, even when occupied?
- Do you experience headaches, sore throat, or dry mouth in the mornings after waking up?
- Sleep studies
- An ECG (Electrocardiogram) to show arrhythmias during sleep
- Monitoring of arterial blood gases to show low oxygen or elevated carbon dioxide
- Thyroid function studies
- A five-fold increased risk of diabetes
- Greatly increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure)
- A compromised immune system and slower healing
- Men with OSA are five times more vulnerable to developing heart disease (strongly suggested in studies)
Intra-Oral Electrical Testing
There may be electrical currents in your mouth that affect your health as well as the health of your teeth. Technology and diagnostic abilities have improved greatly over the years. One of the discoveries that has come about from these improvements is that dentistry’s use of a variety of metals in one patient’s mouth results in the generation of electrical current inside that mouth.
Because each person is unique, electrical currents can affect individuals in many different ways; therefore, it is important for us to consider this part of your overall health situation. At Health Centered Dentistry we use the Oral Potential Meter to determine if any electrical current is present inside your mouth. We then use this information, along with other information we have gathered from other diagnostic tests, to present our treatment suggestions.