"The study or theory of the beauty of living things in their natural forms and functions." - Dr. Robert L. Lee
An educational process that accepts (healthy, unworn) biologic form as the basis for diagnosis and treatment of dentognathic problems.
A plastic retainer-like appliance, worn over the teeth, and designed to simulate an ideal bite. Often used to lessen the harmful effects of clenching or grinding of the teeth (then more commonly referred to as a "night guard"). In bioesthetic dentistry, splints can be used for comprehensive diagnostics and restorative therapy. The bioesthetic splint is then referred to as a M.A.G.O. (Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotic).
A sound, which is heard, and sometimes felt, which occurs when a part of the disk becomes stuck or lodged between the bones (condyle and glenoid fossa) during jaw movements. A click, or pop, is heard and/or felt as the condyle finally slides past the disk (this is called "reduction"). Clicks may or may not be painful. Sometimes clicks are multiple, at different stages of open or closure. Crepitus is a grating, or crunchy sound, during jaw movements, usually associated with osteoarthritis.
The disk becomes lodged in front of the condyle, on one or both sides, and will not reduce, or slide properly into place. This will not allow the condyle to slide forward on the eminence, and the jaw will not be able to open.
A bony knob on the rear-most, top-most part of the lower jaw bone (mandible). A normal lower jaw has 2 condyles, right and left. The condyles fit in the Glenoid Fossae of the temporal bone of the skull. Hence the term: Temporomandibular Joints.
A dental restoration, commonly known as a "cap", made by a lab technician, or dentist, which covers the entire tooth. The tooth must be prepped, or reduced, or made smaller, in it's entire circumference, and height so the crown can fit over the tooth and still appear normal in size.
Diagnostics Summary & Protocol:
An individual may present to us with various problems associated with their existing, or "acquired" bite. We are constantly alert for signs of bite problems, and sometimes when we point them out, the individual may be unaware that the problem exists. Our job is to recognize the signs and symptoms, and to provide more information if the patient desires it. The patient can then decide how to proceed with treatment.
Some to the signs of bite problems are: worn teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, teeth which hurt for no apparent reason, random occurrence of tooth pain, loose teeth, gum pocketing, shifting of teeth, shifting of bite, lack of consistent or comfortable bite. Other signs may include: Pain in the jaw joints, sounds (clicks, cracks, or pops) in the jaw joints, or locking of the jaws, headaches, earaches, pain in the muscles of the head or neck or upper torso. Sometimes ringing of the ears is associated with bite disorders.
Some people have problems with their teeth, but have comfortable jaw joints and muscles. Others may have great teeth, but painful jaw joints, and/or muscles. Some people have a combination of both problems.
THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED PROBLEMS IS THAT THE TEETH AND THE JAW JOINTS ARE NOT ALIGNED PROPERLY DURING A HARD CHEW.
If the jaw joints are forced to move even slightly out of alignment in order for the teeth to fit together, the entire system can become unstable. Most people have a range of adaptability, but if that range starts being exceeded on a regular basis, signs of damage will start to become apparent.
THE PURPOSE OF THE DIAGNOSTIC PROCESS IS TO FIND THE PROPER ALIGNMENT OF THE JAW JOINTS, AND THEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THE TEETH FIT THAT POSITION.
Proper alignment of the right and left jaw joints (TMJ's) is called: stable condylar position. Stable condylar position can be determined with pinpoint accuracy, and is reproducible for restorative purposes. The goal is to find and prove stable condylar position, then adjust or restore the teeth to fit that position.
A cartilaginous pad imposed between the condyles and the Glenoid Fossae. As the jaw opens and closes, or travels in lateral movements, the disks slide and provide a protective padding and cushion between the bones.
A bony cup, or depression, which faces downward (open end of cup faces down) located on either side of the skull in the temporal bone. The lower jaw ends (condyles) fit into these fossae. A complex web of ligaments and muscles holds the lower jaw in place. A cartilaginous disk is interposed between the condyle and the fossae (see "DISK"). The front slope of the fossa is called the eminence. During wide opening, the condyles slide down the eminences (hopefully with the disks in-between!)
M.A.G.O. (Maxillary Guided Anterior Orthotic:
A type of bite appliance worn on the upper arch, designed to simulate an ideal bite. Used for therapy, and "deprogramming" of the jaws, to facilitate healing, neuromuscular coordination, and alignment of the lower jaw to a stable phisiologic position. MAGO therapy is a highly recommended pre-requisite to any comprehensive dental restorative therapy.
A partial crown, to restore a part of a damaged tooth. Natural tooth tissue can be saved, or maintained, and an onlay placed to blend exactly with the existing tooth shape. An onlay resembles a "puzzle piece", which fits exactly into an area prepped to replace a part of a damaged tooth.
A facing, or "false front" placed over a damaged or discolored tooth. Usually veneers are placed on front teeth. Usually, but not always, the front of the tooth must be prepped, or reduced, so the veneer can fit over and still appear normal in size and shape.