"I now understand what great dentistry is all about. I felt like I've been very blessed to have good dentists all my life but I still was having troubles. I knew that I had been bothered by dental problems since my teenage years, as well as jaw problems and chronic headaches. I had lost all my upper teeth and a few lowers. I prayerfully researched the internet for the right TMJ dentist for me and was led to Dr. Otten in Lawrence, Kansas-I live about 100 miles away in Missouri. I first emailed Dr. Otten to ask if he could treat someone with TMJ disorder. I thought I had this because of some information I received while trying to treat my torticollis, which is a neck spasm. I told Dr Otten I was having trouble with my denture and couldn't find one that felt right. I had several dentures made and still was not comfortable and I wondered if he could help me with all these problems."
"I was quite fearful as to what I was getting into; however, I told my husband that I had made an appointment, and he and I proceeded to drive to Lawrence, KS on appointment day. When we entered the office, we were graciously greeted and made to feel very welcome. Very calming music was playing along with the sound of water from a waterfall-- this was the "perfect environment" to help me since my Torticollis is worse during stress. Dr. Otten and Brenda visited with my husband and me for half an hour while we comfortably sat in the lovely reception room - (it was a private setting) about my health issues: daily headaches and facial pain, muscle spasms on left and right sides of my neck extending into shoulders, right ear aching."
"With all my problems, I felt like I was a mess and Dr. Otten would say that I was hopeless. Instead, Dr. Otten listened very closely, did not flinch and said that he believed he could help me. After a very extensive examination he worked with my "too big of denture" making it feel much better with just a small adjustment. I immediately noticed a difference. He also checked for painful spots on my head and neck, took x-rays, and when he looked at my throat he discovered that my throat opening was a concern. He talked with my family physician who agreed and we scheduled a sleep study. It turns out I wasn't breathing well at night. I now sleep with a CPAP that has really helped me to have so much more energy during the day. Dr. Otten made a bite splint that I wear during most of the day and while sleeping that also helps with my breathing and gives me more balance between my denture, jaw joints and teeth."
"After making sure I was breathing well and the splint was working Dr. Otten balanced my bite by adjusting the teeth. Even after wearing the splint the first night, when I awoke in the morning, I was so amazed at how much better I felt-I made notes so I would not forget. I realized that my jaw feels relaxed, not nearly so tired and is not hurting. I don't have headache and my whole face feels so-not hurting and more refreshed. At the present, Dr. Otten and I are working on the teeth, which has become the last part of the puzzle. We have replaced my missing lower teeth and are making a denture on implants so I can have a smaller denture that doesn't further block my airway. I am definitely enjoying life so much more with less pain and more energy since Dr. Otten has been helping me and I am so grateful to find a place that cares so much and really solved all my problems."
Dr. Otten's Note: Coleen is an absolute joy to work with. In her story you may notice the importance of several things we feel are critical to effective care. First we took time to listen to her whole story. Because we had a trusting relationship she felt safe to tell us all the details of her history, which to me is even more important than the exam results. She thought she only needed a new denture but actually the one she had was really very well done. What she needed was a good diagnosis, not just another procedure. As it turns out Colleen's first and most important problem was that she couldn't breathe. Once we got that under control the other problems were manageable. This is the difference between fixing your teeth and helping you get healthier and changing your life for the better.
How can we help you? A free second opinion? Helping you stay healthy your entire life? Helping you with a problem you'd like to know more about? Whatever it is give us a call--there's no obligation.
Call us or email to discuss how we can be of service to you! 785-843-6404 Email: email@example.com
James Otten DDS 930 Iowa Suite One Lawrence KS 66044
Visit our website: www.jamesottendds.com
We constantly get questions about Disorders of the Jaws and Teeth related to chronic bite problems. One of these very common problems is when the jaw joints or TMJ's are effected causing degenerative changes in the joints and often pain.
There are basically two types of these disorder, one involving muscle and one muscle and joint. This article in todays Journal World does a nice job of explaining the best (yet still unclear) definition of these problems and some of the typical patients and demographics we see in our practice.
How about you? Do you know anyone with worn teeth, cracked or chipping teeth, clicking or popping of the jaw joints, dentistry that doesn't feel right, headache, facial pain or muscle stiffness? Add a comment and we can start a discussion! Chances are there are a lot more people out there with the same issues that would benefit from the conversation.
To your health, Jim Otten DDS
Is your Dentistry Restorative or Repairative?
Like a lot of terms in Dentistry the word “restorative” gets tossed around a lot. Often Dentists will use it in an attempt to differentiate themselves without a clear understanding of its meaning. As a consumer, your understanding of the true meaning of what constitutes a “Restorative Dentist” vs. a “Repairative Dentist” can insure you are getting the type of care you desire.
The fundamental principle that describes a Restorative Dentist is a practitioner who thoroughly analyzes a person’s oral health, works in partnership with the patient to define a particular outcome and can provide the care, skill and knowledge necessary to plan and restore the patient to a higher level of health.
Now even though that’s a painfully long definition, let’s break it down through a common procedure that can help you understand if you are really getting the option of “restorative” care.
The importance of thorough analysis – Let’s look at a common scenario:
A dentist tells you a tooth “needs a crown (restoration)”. A repairative dentist looks at fixing what is broken. He or she may something like “it’s cracked, chipped or the filling has failed and another just won’t work”. This explanation makes reasonable sense, a fee is quoted and you are scheduled for your next appointment to prepare the tooth for a crown. A restorative dentist looks at this same tooth and not only at what is broken or failing but more importantly, why?
While all of what the repairative dentist told you was likely true, the restorative dentist is typically “cursed” with a curiosity, a greater need to know why? In this scenario the restorative dentist would likely look at crack and fracture patterns and wonder about how the forces are placed on the teeth, if muscles overworked to increase that force, why filling material failed, the stability of the gum tissue and bone and the degree of wear. This thought process would likely require a more thorough analysis so that the process of restoring the tooth would address all the causative factors so that we’re not only covering the tooth but enhancing the health of the entire mouth. Every component is an important part of an entire system and cannot be looked at in isolation.
In fact, of all the elements of Restorative Care, thorough analysis is key. Without this, nothing else is possible. Restorative dentists understand that you can only treat what you see and you only see what you know. Because of this, Restorative Dentists likely have a higher standard of learning and a commitment to constant and continuing improvement, often far exceeding the continuing education accomplished by their peers. Subsequently they are often teachers and educators of other dentists.
In addition to this commitment and a broader health-centered view, a Restorative Dentist also understands and honors the value of having a true relationship with his/her patients. Only by taking the necessary time to establish trust, understand the patient and their life circumstances, their objectives and their personality or temperament can they work in a collaborative partnership to help develop the appropriate plan for the patient. A restorative approach may also be repairative, and sometimes the repair is all the patient can do or desires to do. With a thorough analysis at least they know what more is possible to choose from and with a plan, the repair can be done in such a way that it enhances the future treatment vs being counter –productive.
Whether you choose a repairative approach or a restorative approach is up to you. Just remember that a restorative approach more often allows you to be an active partner in your care and can help you to achieve results that are often far more long lasting, functional and esthetic. Often the durability of restorative care is a significant multiple of repairative care, and can be predictably achieved and highly cost effective if both the doctor and patient are committed to doing their part to insure success.
Let us know what topics you’d like to now more about and we’ll try to write about them.
Until then, always strive to know more about your Oral Health!
Jim Otten DDS