About oral appliances
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common issue that affects many people at night time. Not only does it cause severe headaches and inflammation in the jaw joint and flattening your teeth, but it can also cause severe pain in the jaw, teeth, and head and neck muscles. Dr. Neela Patel of Houston Heights Dentistry is highly trained in TMJ disorders and "bite issues" like bruxism. She will first check for sleeping disorders and order a sleep exam with a sleep facility if necessary. She will then do a complete bite evaluation to better understand the triggers that make someone grind, and the patterns of grinding. Then, she will consult with the patient before ordering a custom-fit splint or appliance that is worn over the top or bottom teeth. This splint will protect against the negative effects of teeth grinding, and also reduce the activity of the muscles used to grind. Thus, this can help reduce headaches, and excessive forces that can break teeth or loosen them. Made from high-quality materials, custom splints are adjusted or balanced to fit comfortably for each individual patient, improving the quality of their sleep while defending their teeth against grinding and jaw joint damage. A series of 3-8 adjustment visits are generally needed to align the bite on the splint, and retrain the muscles involved in grinding. Splints not only allow patients to have a more comfortable sleep, but they can also prevent future joint and tooth damage, and let the system heal. Once the muscles are relaxed, and the nightime grinding is gone, then Dr Patel can rebuild the worn down, compromised teeth to restore your bite to your optimum joint position where the muscles and joints are relaxed.
"Dr. Neela Patel and staff are wonderful. I've been going here for 20 years and even though it is out of the way from my work and home it's worth the drive."- D.A. / Google / Sep 18, 2018
"A PLEASANT VISITI visited Dr. Neela Patel's office for the first time Nov 2019 for the military veteran's smile event. I was able to fill my paperwork out ahead of time with the help of the excellent receptionist to save time during the initial visit. As I entered the office I noticed the lobby was modern, warm & welcoming. Quickly, my initial evaluation was conducted with 3D panoramic high tech equipment and a friendly technician. After the evaluation, I was escorted back to the lobby and offered light refreshments as I enjoyed the joyful music. As I enjoyed my snacks , I noticed another patient that was obviously suffering from some anxiety due to a dental visit. I witnessed the receptionist come from behind the desk to comfort the patient both verbally and physically. As I observed tears subside , pacing reduce and peace fill the room , I was nothing short of impressed with how the office staff when above and beyond to comfort patients. I met Dr. Patel during my procedure and her bubbly personality was delightful ! Another technician finished the job and answered all of my question regarding preventive maintenance and dental care. As I was leaving , I was given a "to go" bag with recommended products to continue my dental health journey. I was reminded that my teeth will be the last identifiable part of my body and how long they last is a direct reflection of my involvement of care. Although it was only my first visit, it felt as if I was visiting a friend to do homework at their home. THANK YOU Dr. Patel and the wonderful support staff! I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS OFFICE TO ALL SEEKING DENTAL CARE :)"- S.M. / SmileReminder / Dec 21, 2019
"I went in for a teeth cleaning as a new patient and they were extremely thorough and gentle! They were able to see a few minor problems that need fixing and have been nothing shy of friendly. They answer any questions you may have!!"- K.J. / Google / Dec 06, 2019
"I was very impressed with Dr Patel and her staff - to a person they are wonderfully efficient and gracious. Her work is outstanding, my bite has always been complicated but she shaped my new fillings expertly and they have been totally comfortable. I also have TMJ problems and a small mouth and typically experience discomfort after dental work. She and her assistant managed things quite well and I had zero soreness afterward. She also used 'anti-numbing' at the end to speed up the process of normalization which cut the time in half, so I was presentable and could resume work more quickly."- M.R. / Google / Nov 25, 2019
"I can't say enough good things about Dr. Patel and her staff. due to personal neglect, I have some serious dental issues and I am self-conscious about it; so it is hard for me to go into the dentist office. Dr. Patel is amazing and her staff does a wonderful job treating me in a way that minimizes pain/discomfort. I give Dr. Patel's office 5 stars only because I am not able to give her anything more than that. If you are looking for a dentist, especially if you have dental office related anxiety like me, I highly recommend Dr. Patel's office."- D.M. / Google / Nov 23, 2019
What to Expect
Dr. Patel will start by doing a complete bite evaluation exam in which digital x-rays, pictures, bite mapping, muscle tenderness, and impressions are taken in order to study all the triggers for your clenching or grinding. The custom-fit splint will be crafted from high quality materials. You will have your new splint fitted and bite adjusted for optimal TMJ health and to stop te muscle activity. The next splint adjustment is normally scheduled in one week for minor adjustments and to make sure you have optimal comfort.
While fitting the splint, Dr. Patel will give more specific care instructions on how to clean and store your appliance. Dr. Patel will ask you to bring your appliance to future cleaning appointments to check for general wear and determine when your splint needs to be adjusted. Once the muscles are more relaxed, Dr Patel will evaluate your teeth in the optimal joint position, and she will make recommendations on how to best restore your bite to this position. This may involve rebuilding your short teeth with bondings or crowns or orthodontic treatment. Even though your bite is restored, and your grinding is improved, people will go through episodes of stress in their lives that will trigger grinding again. This is why Dr Patel recommends that a new appliance be made to help protect your teeth at night once your teeth are restored.
Some of the cost may be covered by dental insurance if the patient has visible wear on their teeth from bruxism. Our office can confirm your benefits through your insurance to determine your out-of-pocket cost. For patients without insurance or if your insurance does not cover your appliance, we accept many forms of payment and have financing plans available.
Plan Your Procedure
splint Against Grinding
A custom appliance can protect you from grinding your teeth at night, and prevent you from waking up with a headache and mouth pain. Get a better night’s sleep and protect your teeth from future problems with a custom splint. To learn more, contact Houston Heights Dentistry to schedule your consultation.