Educating patients about the causes of dental diseases is the first step towards oral health. We spend time reviewing patients’ medical histories along with regular blood pressure screenings to get an overall picture of our patients’ health. Many times patients have an associated problem that has oral ramifications.
All new adult patients have their first appointment with Dr. Lecca. This is the first step in the Doctor/ Patient relationship. He will spend time listening to the patients medical and dental history. The next step is a comprehensive exam that involves an oral cancer screening, periodontal exam, head and neck muscle exam, and evaluation of the teeth. Radiographs (x-rays) are also taken to examine the structural elements that cannot be seen clinically. Dr. Lecca and the patient will together be able to review the findings and discuss treatment. Depending on patients’ needs, Dr. Lecca may require study models, photos, and an occlusal analysis prior to treatment. Dr. Lecca will also determine the type of hygiene appointment necessary for patients to schedule after the new patient appointment.
Dr. Lecca’s hygiene staff is top notch. The hygienist involves patients in a co-discovery process to help educate them on the state of their existing oral health and on the methods to gain optimum oral health. Hygiene services include cleanings, periodontal evaluation, instruction, blood pressure screening, sealants, fluoride application, oral cancer exam, head and neck exam, and review of medical history updates.
Many patients complain of gum recession, tired jaws, headaches, and wearing of their teeth. Dr. Lecca will review these issues at the new patient exam. Many times these issues occur together or separately. This can be a sign of an imbalance between the jaw joints, head and neck muscles, and the teeth for which the body is trying to accommodate (in other words, TMJ problems). Stress and/or medications can exacerbate the problem. Dr. Lecca can make an occlusal guard in order to diagnose and help relieve the symptoms. This diagnosis is especially important in patients prior to restorative or orthodontic treatment which may be needed. The guard helps establish a range of tolerance the patient can function in.
Dr. Lecca focuses his practice on restorative dentistry. This means that Dr. Lecca offers services that include cosmetics, fillings, crowns, bridges, implant crowns, dentures, and partials. Dr. Lecca likes interdisciplinary dentistry. He works with a variety of specialists in order to achieve the best results and resolve any difficult treatment plans. Dr. Lecca will use study models, x-rays, and photos to work out a treatment plan of options for the patient. He has documented photos of completed actual treatments to help patients visualize the end result. Treatment is rendered only when all options have been discussed and the patient is in full agreement and accepts the treatment plan.
TMJ / Facial Pain
TMJ is a broad acronym that is used to describe facial pain. Many times patients feel discomfort or tension in the head, neck, and upper back muscles. Sometimes teeth can be sensitive or even show signs of chipping, shortening, or breaking. There can be ear pain, headaches, and ringing in the ear. Patients can have all or just some of these symptoms and a host of many others. The important thing is to diagnose what you are dealing with then set out to make a treatment plan.
Dr. Lecca may refer a patient for an MRI to aid in diagnosing a joint issue. Dr. Lecca also will do a thorough examination and listen to the patient describe their symptoms. This is the beginning of the process.
Many times Dr. Lecca will fabricate a custom bite splint for the patient If a patient’s discomfort is truly muscular in nature, due to a nocturnal habit of pressing or rubbing teeth together, patients will often times find relief over a period of time. Bite splint therapy is like physical therapy for the facial muscles and follow up appointments are essential to treatment success. If you feel that you would fall into this category call our office for an evaluation.
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