Advanced Dental Procedures
Mid Bay Dental is committed to your total oral health. Dr. Chase has years of continuing education to ensure our practice is always on the leading edge of dental technology.
For our patients with extensive tooth decay or cracked, broken, or missing teeth, we offer consultations to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Mid Bay Dental specializes in advanced dental procedures to restore your smile and oral health. Dr. Justine Chase will go over each recommended procedure and answer any questions you may have. When your treatment is complete, we will educate you on how to properly care for your teeth to help keep them healthy and beautiful for a long time to come.
Dental Care Procedures
Among the more advanced dental care procedure Dr. Chase performs are:
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) is a disorder of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth that may affect chewing, swallowing, speech, oral hygiene, and a slew of other normal functions. A typical OMD involves an abnormal bite due to the improper alignment between the upper and lower teeth. This is known as malocclusion, and it can lead to problems in chewing, swallowing, and the digestion of food.Myofunctional therapy consists of a regular program of simple and painless exercises designed to activate and use certain muscles to correct improper muscle patterns and enable proper coordination of the tongue and facial muscles.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which you stop breathing periodically throughout the night due to a physical obstruction of the airway. The muscles in your mouth and throat relax during sleep to the point that soft fatty tissues fall back into the upper airway and block the flow of incoming oxygen. One option in the treatment of sleep apnea is the use of a continuous positive airway (CPAP) device, which delivers a steady stream of pressurized air through a mask into your respiratory system. However, this form of therapy can result in dry nasal passages, skin irritation from masks, difficulty tolerating the pressurized air, or feelings of claustrophobia.
A better option for sleep apnea is an oral dental appliance for sleep apnea. There are two types: adjustable mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue retaining mouthpieces. MADs work by pushing the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, thereby helping prevent throat muscles from collapsing back into the airways, while allowing for normal breathing. Tongue retaining mouthpieces have a small compartment that fits around the tongue using suction to keep it held forward, preventing it from collapsing back into your airway.
Advanced dental care procedures such as these require advanced diagnostic tools. That’s why Mid Bay Dental is equipped with these cutting-edge, on-site technologies:
Dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a special type of x-ray that enables Dr. Chase to produce three-dimensional (3D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan. It provides detailed images of the bone to evaluate diseases of the jaw, dentition, bony structures of the face, nasal cavity, and sinuses for more precise and effective treatment.
An advanced replacement of traditional photographic X-ray film, digital radiography uses sensors that produce enhanced computer images of teeth, gums, and other oral structures and conditions, which enable Dr. Chase to pinpoint and treat problem areas in your mouth.
Q: WHAT EXACTLY IS A TONGUE TIE?
The lingual frenulum is a small fold of mucous membrane that extends from the floor of the mouth to the midline of the underside of the tongue. Find your own lingual frenulum by looking in the mirror, opening you mouth, and stretching your tongue towards the palate. See the whitish cord beneath your tongue? Ankyloglossia or tongue tie, is simply a lingual frenulum that is tight enough to restrict the movement of the tongue. It is a congenital oral anomaly caused by an unusually thick, or unusually short, lingual frenulum.
Q: CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE TREATMENT FOR A BABY THAT IS TONGUE TIED? DOES IT HURT?
The infant frenectomy is a straightforward outpatient procedure that can be completed during the same visit as the initial assessment. If a release is recommended, the treatment takes only a few minutes and a baby can go to the breast immediately following. The baby is swaddled and safety goggles are always used to protect baby’s eyes – I use a pen-sized laser on infants to remove the tight lingual frenulum. I apply an effective topical anesthetic gel on the frenular tissue prior to treatment, allowing for zero to minimal discomfort during the procedure. The anesthetic lasts for approximately 30 minutes.
Q: IF A TONGUE TIE IS LEFT UNTREATED, CAN IT HAVE ANY EFFECT INTO CHILDHOOD AND ADULTHOOD?
Yes, indeed it can. Untreated tongue ties in infants can lead to difficulty chewing and swallowing firmer foods, altered jaw and dental development including a high palate and narrow facial structure, poor sleep patterns, mouth breathing, and increased gas and bloating resulting from poor tongue coordination and corresponding swallowing of air. Significant ties may result in delayed speech development due to the tongue being restricted in movement. Also, when tongue movement is restricted, the tongue cannot sweep across tooth surfaces and spread saliva, both crucial to oral cleansing.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF BREASTFEEDING ISSUES MAY MOTHERS OF TONGUE TIED BABIES EXPERIENCE?
Studies have shown that an infant with ankyloglossia can have issues latching, gaining weight, creating suction and staying awake during feeds due to the extra exertion required. In addition, mothers with infants who are tongue tied may experience significant pain in their nipples, to the extent that they can become cracked and abscessed. If symptoms including inadequate latch, poor breast draining, painful nipples and/or fussiness at the breast have not improved and a lactation consultant is concerned about a possible tongue tie, she will refer over mom and baby.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Breastfeeding is encouraged immediately following the procedure, however typically there is a healing period that your infant must undergo before the full benefits are realized. I teach each mother proper active wound management and daily stretching exercises in order to facilitate healing. As explained in another post, I cannot stress enough the importance of continued lactation support following the frenectomy procedure. Post-treatment follow up is just as important as pre-treatment care
I send a detailed report of my assessment and/or procedure to the lactation consultant and stay up to date with baby’s progress after our 4-day follow up. Baby will continue to build strength over the healing period and will require further guidance on developing positive breastfeeding habits.
It is not only the tongue and jaw that prove to be key components in breastfeeding but in fact, the whole body. For this reason, tongue tied babies often have additional structural stressors to be addressed and I will recommend taking baby to see a bodyworker, a licensed professional such as an occupational, craniosacral or physical therapist. Bodywork encourages body awareness and encourages an infant to express postural reflexes and explore natural movement inclinations through the nervous system. After a tongue tie release, the infant’s tongue will need to adapt to a new and profound range of motion.
Myofunctional Therapy and Tongue Tie Release In Children and Adults
BENEFITS OF EARLY EXAMINATION, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT:
- Removes harmful factors influencing growth
- Excellent ages for growth guidance and restoring normal growth
- Assist in improving the psychological well-being of the child
- Saves some patients from future jaw surgery
- Can assist in building better bites and smiles – preventing crowded/crooked teeth
Blocked airways and poor tongue posture can trigger excess adrenaline. Many studies have shown compromised airways and improper breathing as a contributing factor to ADHD in children. Many serious sleep issues can be attributed to poorly formed airways
Our team prides ourselves on precision diagnosis and treatment of airway issues. We check for proper development of the jaw and harmony of the face. We also screen for breathing and oral habits which may over time, result in abnormal dentofacial development. By working with the natural growth instead of against it, we can prevent problems from beginning, or becoming worse, and give your child a lifetime of healthy smiles and deep breathing!
If your child is tired all the time as a result of interrupted sleep related to the nasal blockage which typically worsens at night, give us a call to schedule a consultation. It’s never too late to start breathing right.