The professional blog of Doctors Dan Bruce, Steve Bruce, Rosa Pothier and Rob Ririe
Treating symptoms vs. looking at the real problems in dentistry
So I sent her to a TMJ and pain specialist for further evaluation. I turns out that their was some major joint problems and arthritis causing a bite change. This case emphasizes the importance of looking at the whole patient instead of just the tooth that hurts. Does the patient clench their teeth? Is there a history of trauma? Are sinuses a problem? Often, looking at the whole person and all symptoms they are having allows us to prevent problems in the future. Wearing a nightguard for someone who clenches can protect the teeth from fracture and the joints from excess stress. Finding sleep apnea in a clencher and treating the apnea can reduce the clenching and joint problems.
Sometimes dental treatment is very simple, but there are many other times multiple factors going into the problem that need to be addressed.