When you are working with our office and wearing your TMD appliances – the ALF, the Modified Gelb, or a combination thereof, it is really important to keep up with your dentist to make sure the teeth and gums are doing well. Every new patient who walks into our office is made aware that they must work with their dentist to be sure problems do not develop.
With the work that we do at Sleep and TMJ Therapy, it is important that we all work together as a team to provide you with the very best treatment possible. When it comes to your regular dentist, this means seeing him or her regularly for the dental cleanings and checkups. Sometimes we have you see them more often – like every three months instead of the normal six months. This helps keep the teeth cleaner and healthier when heavy buildup is present or there are periodontal issues. Since our appliances rest on the teeth, it is imperative that you keep those teeth as healthy as possible!
Another reason for maintaining good teeth and healthy gums is that if you are wearing ALF wires, there will be some degree of expansion of the arches and gaps could open between the back teeth. When gaps open up, it is more important than ever to use floss every day and see your dentist regularly enough. On the back end of treatment, we advise our patients that they may need some of these small gaps closed with a filling or onlay, depending on the situation. However, in most cases, once the ALF treatment is completed, the gaps usually close all by themselves as we notice the teeth moving forward over time. This occurs naturally when the teeth and gums are healthy.
As part of the finishing up of treatment, in some cases, it is necessary for your general dentist to do some crowns or overlays of certain teeth to make them taller. This is sometimes needed with root canaled teeth because they usually will not lift up doing ALF therapy. It is quite simple for this to be done, but much easier if your dentist is kept apprised of your situation during treatment and maintains the bone and gums during the transition process.
So, keep up with those dental cleanings while we work on the TMJ disorder. Your treatment is much easier when a “team approach” keeps things in order!