Orthodontics has traditionally focused on straightening teeth. I mean, who doesn’t love a beautiful smile? But at what cost? Pulling teeth to “make space” or using appliances to push and pull teeth into a “perfect” position and bite without first addressing the reason WHY the teeth are crooked to begin with is a perfect recipe for relapse and undesired side effects. In many of my adult patients, that “beautiful smile” is a contributing factor to their current TMJ pain, snoring/sleep apnea, and chronic head and neck pain. It makes sense when you think about it. If we treat any symptom without treating the underlying cause, the symptom is likely to recur and we often end up with unwanted side effects.
If you are anything like me, these past few weeks and months have been filled with worry and stress. There is so much talk about what to do and what not to do to stay healthy and take care of the people we love. I have seen some things here and there about nutrition, hand-washing, supplements, and other things we can do to improve our immune systems, but there is one simple thing we can all do to improve our immune system that I don’t hear anyone talking about. Something that is absolutely critical to our health and well-being. Not just in times like these, but always.
“Sticker shock.” That is the best way to describe my impression after the initial consultation with Dr. Morris and the office manager, Stacy. After a thorough no-cost exam with X-rays and a CT scan, I was told that my teeth were ground down to nubs and a full mouth rehabilitation would be required. They explained that all my teeth would need to be crowned to include “crown lengthening and opening the bite.” Two terms I’d never heard before. The whole process was overwhelming and inconceivable. Being a retired engineer and a newbie to Florida, I was a bit skeptical and apprehensive at my age—especially with all the advertisements for implants and “teeth in a day” scattered throughout numerous billboards and flyers in every newspaper and magazine.