Do You Have a Dental Disorder?

The range of possible dental disorders is wide and some are more easily recognized than others. It could be a bit perplexing to consider you may have a dental disorder without realizing it, but it’s actually more common than you might think. Some disorders have obvious symptoms that may have you running to our office. Others can be more subtle. Do you have facial soreness or pain? Surprisingly, these may be the result of a dental disorder. Our goal is to educate our patients on common and uncommon symptoms that may be a sign to visit our office and receive the required care to remedy these conditions.

A dental disorder is a disruption of your body’s natural process relating to your oral health. Despite its origins, it is important to understand symptoms may be experienced elsewhere in the body. For this reason, many suffer from ailments they don’t consider relevant to tell their dentist. However, as we are a medical provider we encourage you to share things that may not seem related – you never know! Here are a few to keep on the lookout, so you can better identify signs should something be amiss.

Dentist Looking Glass Teeth

Bruxism is the name of “teeth grinding”, which is a condition that often presents itself during sleep when the patient cannot control themselves. Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of teeth, which may be loud enough to wake your sleeping partner. Unfortunately it can severely damage your teeth, leading to fractured, chipped, or worn down teeth that become very short in length, and may even expose the inner layers of your tooth. Bruxism can be managed, and it’s important to do so before it becomes more serious. A bad bite is believed to be one cause of bruxism. We can help pinpoint the cause and determine if braces may help you.

TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) is a dysfunction of the TMJ – a joint located in your jaw bone. TMD is sometimes known as “impostor syndrome” because it can mimic so many conditions, and it can be difficult to relate it back to a dental disorder. It can lead to pain in the jaws, cracking or popping sounds, migraines, numbness in the fingers and toes, lock jaw, or many other related issues. A common problem with TMD is that, in the event your symptoms include non-dental related pain such as migraines or numb extremities, patients may not tell their dentist (without realizing how closely related it may be) and find themselves unable to diagnose the problem and suffer with the consequences long-term. Orthodontics is one effective approach often used with TMJ disorder to help adjust the alignment of the TMJ and reduce or eliminate the symptoms. Treatment will depend upon many individual factors.

We understand some conditions may seem complex. Rest assured we are here to work with you to find a solution to your unique needs. If you feel one these conditions may apply to you or a family member, call our office to begin seeking relief today. We are here for you.

Dr. Pedro Alquizar

Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176

Dental X-Rays and Your Health

X-rays, otherwise known as dental radiographs, are a staple of quality dental care. While x-rays bring undeniable advantages when it comes to identifying and diagnosing potential health issues, some may harbor reservations regarding the risks of exposure to radiation.  Fortunately we can ease those concerns and serve as a resource for understanding radiography, so you can feel confident receiving excellent care.

Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays

X-rays are an essential tool in the dental community (and medical community at large) as they provide valuable insights that we would not otherwise be able to access with visual inspection alone. Our team, with the help of x-rays, is able to see between, inside, and under your teeth. In doing so, we have the ability to check a variety of important health factors. This includes the presence of cavities, the health of your tooth roots, the bone structure surrounding the tooth, the status of developing teeth, the health of your jaw bone, and many more conditions that we would not otherwise be able to monitor. X-rays are instrumental when there is a known issue; with them, we are better able to understand the full scope of the situation and design an appropriate treatment plan for the beauty and health of your smile.

Radiation Exposure from X-Rays

Radiography technology has come a long way, and your exposure to radiation is negligible amounts in terms of risk – in fact, the risk you assume by forgoing x-rays can create long-term damage that could otherwise have been identified and treated. We understand some patients have concerns about radiation exposure, and it’s important to understand we are all consistently exposed to radiation each and every day. It’s high levels of exposure that are the true cause for concern. Our x-ray machines operate on a micro-scale that simply don’t compare. We assure you receiving x-rays is one of the single most beneficial processes capable of saving your health by identifying small problems before they progress into serious conditions.

If you have any unaddressed concerns, in regards to x-rays or other dental procedures, our knowledgeable staff is happy to share answers with you. We want you to feel relaxed in our office, and confident that you are receiving the best care possible!

Dr. Pedro Alquizar

Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176

Why Orthodontic Retainers?

The antsy feeling to finish your orthodontic treatment is a real one – anyone who remembers the day their braces were removed will remember the associated feeling. While the end of your time with braces does mark the end of an era, it doesn’t mean the end of treatment. In order to preserve the beautiful results you so patiently achieved, it’s important to continually wear orthodontic retainers!

Why do I need a retainer?

It is a myth that once teeth are set into the correct position, they will permanently stay in place. Your teeth can (and often will) shift significantly as you age. This is true of all people, and not exclusively to those who have received orthodontic treatment. Interestingly enough, the teeth and bone and gum tissues of orthodontically corrected teeth have a “memory”, so to speak. For a short time after the removal of your braces, your teeth are prone to drifting back to their original positions. In order to protect your investment and your smile, we’ll offer you retainers.

Retainers are often worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when you initially receive them. As time goes on, usage decreases until they are worn only during sleep. At this stage, we will have determined the surrounding bones and ligaments have sufficiently matured and “hardened”, meaning your teeth will be more stable in their adjusted position. Bonded retainers are another option, and are permanently placed against your teeth.  These wired retainers are thin, generally not intrusive, and have the added benefit of never being forgotten. Ultimately, your teeth may determine which retainer best fits your needs, and we will always ensure you’re comfortable with your options.

What do I need to know about retainers?

The most important part of owning retainers is to remember them! It’s surprisingly easy to wad them up in a napkin and realize a few hours later they’ve been thrown away in some public trashcan.  Avoid this by vigilantly ensuring to store them in their provided case when not in use, and you’ll substantially decrease the likelihood they become lost or discarded. If you have bonded retainers, losing them is not an issue.

Over time, your recommended usage may change – we will discuss your current treatment plan regularly. Although retainers can initially feel strange to have in the mouth, eventually you will grow quite used to them. In fact, it’s not uncommon to feel more comfortable with them in place, as they offer added support for your teeth and jaw.

As far as retainer care goes, cleanliness is also important. Being that they belong in your mouth, and are removed semi-frequently, you’ll want to ensure proper hygiene. Fortunately, caring for the appliance is relatively simple. Gently wash them with a toothbrush, and you can also soak them when they are not in use. If you have bonded retainers, be sure to floss underneath them as it’s an easy space for tartar to accumulate. If you’re unsure about your current care routine, give us a quick call so we can help you out.

Dr. Pedro Alquizar

Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176

Payment Options

When it comes to the health of your smile, finances shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing a treatment plan. Our priority is always that you are receiving the care you need, as the consequences of forgoing sufficient medical attention are often degenerative, and only worsen the longer they are left untreated. This is true of both the damage done to your mouth and your wallet; however, just as it’s our priority to ensure the health of your smile, it’s also our priority to ensure you receive the required care – affordably.

                There are a few methods of payment available to you, as well as additional points of consideration to ensure your decisions are completely informed. The most common place to start is understanding your insurance coverage – dental insurance is a product designed by your employer; it is not within our ability to influence your policy. However, we will do everything possible to maximize its utilization.

Beyond insurance, our office also accepts CareCredit. CareCredit is dedicated to providing individuals with a practical means to afford necessary healthcare, and giving them extended periods of time to make interest-free payments on their treatment costs.

Apart from these options, our practice also offers our own in-house payment plan to ensure treatment accessibility for all our patients. We offer no interest and affordable plans that can be paid off over time. If you think you may be a candidate to work with us on your financial care budget, please talk with us.

We understand medical care can come with a daunting price tag, but there are programs in place to minimize the impact it has on your budget and personal finances. We will do everything we can to work with each and every patient, whether they are insured or not. Our highest priority is seeing everyone receive the care they need, so if you have any monetary concerns at all – talk to us, we’re always here.

Dr. Pedro Alquizar
Miami Orthodontist Group

Phone: (305) 279-3968
9125 SW 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 3317