Jason M. Olvera, DDS
A Great Dentist

Dental Appliance Therapy

Do you suffer from headaches, tired jaws, sore head and neck muscles, chipped teeth, clenching, and tooth wear?

These signs and symptoms may indicate that you have bruxism, a condition that causes you to excessively grind or clench your teeth, or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which causes pain and inflammation of the joint where your lower jaw attaches to your skull. TMJ pain can also radiate out from the joint into tired and inflamed muscles, leading to headaches and facial soreness.

Both of these conditions can cause significant wear and tear on your teeth as well as other dental and general health problems. Fortunately, both can also be treated with a dental appliance.

Dental appliances are often referred to as night guards, and they are available in multiple styles. At Dental Dimensions in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dr. Olvera's appliance of choice is the Tanner Appliance. He can also fabricate an anterior bite plane for diagnostic purposes and short-term treatment.

Anterior Bite Plane

An anterior bite plane covers the biting edge of the upper front six teeth. Our patients love wearing the anterior bite plane because of its smooth, flat surface and comfortable, compact size. An anterior bite plane gives you the following benefits:

  • It protects your teeth from wear.
  • It potentially decreases clenching and muscle activity.
  • The appliance can be used as a diagnostic tool.

The anterior bite plane is worn while you sleep, for no more than eight hours at a time. This type of appliance is not recommended for wear during the day because your speech will be affected while the appliance is in place. 

Tanner Appliance

The Tanner Appliance is made of acrylic and is worn on the lower teeth. Unlike an anterior bite plane, the Tanner Appliance can be worn 24/7 without affecting your speech or changing the position of your teeth.

The Tanner Appliance is the only appliance that allows the dentist to test and design an occlusion (how teeth come together) in the appliance itself. The benefits of wearing a Tanner Appliance include:

  • Protection from tooth wear
  • Potential decrease in clenching and grinding activity
  • Support for temporomandibular joints
  • Appropriate for day and nighttime wear
  • Use as both a diagnostic tool and a treatment appliance
  • Relief from muscle pain and inflammation
  • Reduction of clicking and popping in joints

Before we can determine which appliance is best for you, Dr. Olvera will perform a thorough examination. He will then discuss your treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have regarding how to proceed.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you’ve been suffering in silence, it’s time to seek treatment and relieve these uncomfortable symptoms. Please call us today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Olvera at Dental Dimensions in St. Petersburg, Florida. We welcome new patients and look forward to helping you find a solution for comfortable jaws and teeth so you can enjoy a better quality of life.