Sometimes we’re asked what it means when we say we provide comprehensive dental care for our patients. It’s a great question and one that involves more than just the dictionary.
Nothing in the human body exists or functions in isolation. In comprehensive care, we look at the mouth as more than teeth and gums – we include the soft tissues of the surrounding oral cavity and the muscles used for chewing and movement, including those around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In fact, these muscles that help create your “bite” or occlusion are often a source of problems that show up as jaw pain, neck or head aches, tooth wear and stress, failure of dental restorations, and which further can affect the health of your gums and jaw bones.
Many times patients are surprised when a comprehensive exam reveals problems with their occlusion. Usually the uneven wear patterns and the way the teeth fit together become apparent when your dentist helps you explore what you can feel and see in the mirror. Our dentists have advanced training in examining and treating occlusion problems so that with corrective care, stress can be reduced and equalized, pain can often be alleviated and dental restorations can last longer.
Your teeth do not function in isolation either. Looking at your mouth comprehensively, if a new restoration is recommended to repair a tooth, or a tooth cannot be saved and extraction is an option, the impact of those treatments on the other teeth in your mouth is best to be explored. It may mean that restorations or extractions are planned in a way to protect your other teeth from additional problems by maintaining optimum occlusion, or aid in correcting a malocclusion, or bad bite. It means looking at tooth replacement as a part of the solution of extracting a tooth. Treating “just one tooth” is often not in your best interest for long-term dental health. It sounds complicated, but because of their additional advanced training, our restorative dentists and specialists can help you create a plan of care that takes all of this into consideration.
As part of your comprehensive examination, we also use visual and manual processes to examine the soft tissues of the oral cavity and surrounding muscles for changes and abnormalities. If suspicious areas are discovered, your dentist is able to provide further testing, up to and including soft tissue biopsies right here in our office for your comfort and convenience.
At New Hampshire Center for Comprehensive Dentistry, an additional important piece of our commitment to comprehensive care is that we view each patient as a unique, whole person. We look at your mouth being connected to, influenced by and influencing your whole body. Factors such as your general health, medications you may take, your state of nutrition, problems with stress from work or life, as well as your own self-care habits are all important in understanding what is happening with your oral health.
All of these points are integral to our belief in comprehensive care but are by no means our complete definition. Check back here for future posts about our commitment to caring for you and your family with comprehensive care dentistry. It’s complete dental care Nashua NH in Amherst NH.