How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost in Savannah, GA?

Sedation dentistry has gotten quite popular in recent years, and this kind of dentistry is ideal for those who find going to the dentist uncomfortable or for people with severe dental anxieties. If you’re considering sedation dentistry, you’ll probably want to know how much sedation dentistry costs.

Keep reading to learn more about how much sedation dentistry costs, what affects the cost, what kind of sedation methods there are, and when sedation is necessary.

What Kinds of Dental Sedation Are There?

One of the best things about modern sedation dentistry is that there are many ways to achieve sedation, including through the use of nitrous oxide, oral pills, and IVs. In some cases, you could also elect to get general anesthesia.

If you are sedated via nitrous oxide, you’ll be awake during the procedure, but you’ll be calm, relaxed, and unable to feel the poking and prodding. An oral tablet, on the other hand, is taken before the procedure to ensure you are calm and relaxed throughout the treatment.

What Determines the Price of Dental Sedation?

Generally, it costs between $200 and $300 to do light sedation for about 15 minutes using nitrous oxide gas or an oral sedative. This price range is just for the sedation; you’ll pay more for the procedure which requires sedation. In total, you could be looking at a 4-figure bill, especially if you were sedated for longer than an hour.

Keep in mind that general anesthesia and an IV sedative will cost more because you’ll need an anesthesiologist (paid by the hour) to administer the sedative. Plus, there are more risks associated with these latter sedation methods because they’re more invasive, which partly explains why they’re more expensive.

Does Insurance Cover Sedation Dentistry?

The answer here largely depends on what kind of insurance you have. Most dental insurance providers will cover the cost of sedation when it’s necessary for a procedure (like a root canal), but in the case where sedation is being used for a minor procedure or a simple cleaning, then it’s likely you’ll be paying out of pocket for the more pleasant experience.

When Is Dental Sedation Necessary?

A variety of patients can benefit from getting sedation dentistry. Those who are generally nervous when they go to the dentist benefit from this kind of dentistry, as it calms the nerves and ensures a more rewarding experience. Those who can’t sit still can also benefit from being mildly sedated while having dental work performed.

Moreover, being slightly sedated could prevent you from gagging or vomiting if you have a sensitive gag reflex. Lastly, if you have a lengthy procedure ahead of you and you’re worried about getting restless or uncomfortable, mild dental sedation may be what you need.

Where to Get Top-Quality Dental Sedation in Savannah, GA

You have various options if you’re looking for dental sedation experts in Savannah, Georgia. However, you should choose Savannah Dental Solutions, as the sedation dental care specialists here are not only experienced, highly skilled, and generally great with patients—their sedation dental services are more affordable than those offered by the competition.

Call (912) 354-1366 now to set up an appointment for sedation dentistry with Savannah Dental Solutions. If this is your first experience, it could totally change the way you view going to the dentist.

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost in Savannah, GA?

before and after teeth whitening

Teeth whitening costs vary depending upon the level of service needed. Investing in professional teeth whitening at a licensed Savannah, Georgia, dental practice can protect patients from pricey over-the-counter products. 

Why Teeth Whitening is an Attractive Option

There are various factors that can contribute to your teeth losing their pearly white shine. Among the various products and conditions that contribute to yellowing or discolored teeth are:

  • Alcohol 
  • Tobacco use
  • Some medications, such as tetracycline
  • Certain foods
  • Dark beverages, such as coffee, tea, and red wine

The aging process can also cause your teeth to appear dull and stained. Combined with one or more of the factors above, the effect on your teeth can result in dull and yellowing teeth. The colored appearance of your teeth can impact your smile and confidence.

Studies show that tooth color is among the most common reason affecting a person’s confidence with their smile. Eager to find a quick fix to a long-term problem, many dental patients attempt to brighten their smile alone. 

Why Invest in Dental Office Teeth Whitening?

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products represent a billion dollar industry. Millions of people take risks with at home whitening kits that may produce no or temporary results. It is important to note that the industry is not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA).

Oral health is a vital compoenent of an overall healthy life. Multiple use of over-the-counter products can result in significant costs. If misused, the products may cause harm to teeth and gums, especially if you have underlying dental issues. 

A professional deep whitening system, used by a licensed dentist saves patients time and frustration. Such deep bleaching systems are safe for teeth and gums and are applied in a controlled setting. 

The process is comfortable and the results are permanent. Entrusting your teeth whitening treatment to a qualified Savannah dentist can place your mind at ease. Before you know it, your new smile is ready. 

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic service typically not covered by insurance. However, patients who stop buying over-the-counter whitening aids can apply those savings toward their professional treatment. 

A professional dental whitening treatment can permamently help your smile. For those seeking a safe bleaching treatment, it is best to contact a Savannah dentist for more information. 

Investing in Your Savannah Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening

Many products may claim they can penetrate the stained surface of your teeth yet few can do a permanent or complete job. Investing in your Savannah smile with professional teeth whitening is a simple process that can evoke confidence in your results. 

The comfortable office environment is a sterile and safe place for your teeth whitening treatment. Savannah Dental Solutions takes pride in our commitment to quality patient service.

You can learn more about the deep bleaching system used by Savannah Dental Solutions by contacting our office today. Our team can review the estimated cost with you.  Call us at (912) 354-1366 or contact us online

Foods You Cannot Eat With Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are one of the best ways to hide imperfections and improve your smile. Veneers are commonly made of porcelain and need protection and care with certain food types. Learning what to avoid in your diet can protect your dental veneers from damage.

Foods to Avoid When Eating With Dental Veneers

Most dental veneer patients can enjoy their favorite foods. However, using caution is always best to avoid return visits for damage that is typically preventable. The following list of foods to avoid when eating with dental veneers is a standard guide; if you have questions about your preferred snack, ask your dentist for recommendations. 

Hard Foods to Avoid With Dental Veneers

  • Popcorn (especially unpopped kernels)
  • Candy (hard and gummy)
  • Raw vegetables and fruits, such as carrots and apples
  • Hard pretzels or other similar snacks
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Even munching on hard ice can harm your dental veneers. Softer — and safer — options for dental patients are peaches, corn cut off the cob, and soft tortillas rather than crunchy taco shells. 

While porcelain veneers are relatively stain-resistant, avoiding certain liquids can keep your smile bright. Moderation of the following beverages and food types is best for maintaining the clean look of your dental veneers. 

Beverages and Foods That Can Stain Dental Veneers

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Berries

Additionally, dental veneer patients should avoid consuming alcohol and using tobacco products. In contrast, most meats and other types of foods are acceptable. Simply use caution by cutting food into small pieces and chewing carefully. 

Your dentist can educate you about food choices and teach you how to care for your dental veneers. Most patients find that the use and care are not much unlike their daily routine before the veneers. 

Dental Veneers and The Power of Porcelain

A thin covering of porcelain veneers over your discolored, chipped, or tooth gap can significantly affect your confidence. Likewise, a warm smile can go a long way in improving how you feel about yourself.

The dental veneer process is relatively short and starts with a free consultation. X-rays and a teeth mold can help determine the best route for your specific condition. Every dental patient is different, and the decision for dental veneers depends upon each patient’s oral healthcare needs.

One of the best features of dental veneers is their natural appearance. If you want to improve your teeth’ color, shape, size, or length, consider a free dental veneer consultation today. 

Savannah Dental Solutions: Improving Smiles With Porcelain Dental Veneers

Choosing dental veneers does not mean giving up your favorite foods. However, it does mean that caution toward specific types of food can aid in protecting your veneers from stains or damage. 

At Savannah Dental Solutions, we work with each patient to educate them about the veneer process and about aftercare. Our team is friendly and helpful, something that places our patients at ease during their visits. 

If you seek a more confident smile, explore your options for dental veneers. Contact Savannah Dental Solutions at (912) 354-1366 or contact us online.

How Long Does TMJ Pain Last?

The temporomandibular joint disorder is a debilitating pain in the jaw joint. Since we all talk, eat and drink, the jaw joint is frequently used throughout our everyday lives, which is why we say it’s a “debilitating pain” instead of just an annoying pain. For somebody who has never experienced TMJ disorder in the past, an unexpected flare-up can be pretty alarming, causing added anxiety on top of the joint pain. Excessive strain on the jaw joints and the muscle group that controls chewing, swallowing, and speech is almost always the primary reason anybody suffers from TMJ disorder or has a TMJ flare-up.

Known causes are unbridled and liberal use of chewing gum, overeating, and even bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding. If you find yourself chewing a lot of gum and feeling joint pain in your jaw, cut back, and your pain will subside in just a few days. Overeating is similar, so long as you don’t continue to eat hard foods frequently beyond the first signs of pain. For those suffering from bruxism, the timeline is a little less clear…


Grinding your teeth in your sleep can cause an array of issues for your gums and teeth, including abnormal decay, rapid tooth dulling, and destruction of bridges and crowns. Those are the obvious issues, but people rarely think about the damage being done by the constant pressure on the jaw line. Though incredibly strong, the joints in your jaw still have their limitations. Unfortunately, most people aren’t aware of their nighttime grinding unless a partner hears them or they start to develop TMJ. Bruxism can be treated as the underlying cause is frequent stress and anxiety. Seeking a therapist or counselor, medication, and meditation can help with stress and anxiety. In many cases, the bruxism goes away as mental health improves, but sometimes that’s after the damage has already been done.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ disorder is most frequently the result of bruxism. The longer the bruxism is left untreated, the more strain and potential damage the jaw joints endure. The pain associated with a flare-up can last from days to weeks. The most common noticeable symptoms during a TMJ disorder flare-up include pain in the jaw line, ear aches, toothaches, headaches, facial swelling, and limited jaw range of motion. Sometimes people experience lockjaw and pain in the neck/shoulder area! There are documented cases of consistent pain being managed with over-the-counter painkillers for years. In those scenarios, the person suffering never treated the actual issue – the bruxism.  

Bruxism isn’t the only dental problem that can cause TMJ pain. Teeth that are badly misaligned can result in awkward chewing habits and unhealthy resting mouth positions. The bad habits and forced positioning at rest will inevitably put undesired stress on the jaw joints, resulting in eventual TMJ pain from constant stress.

Drs. Chad & Alexandra Schnabel of Savannah Dental Solutions are no strangers to dealing with patients suffering from TMJ disorder due to bruxism or poor tooth positioning. We encourage anybody with more than a few days of jaw pain to stop in so we can examine the issue. Waiting too long will undeniably cause even longer recovery times and can end up hurting your wallet in the long run. 

Treating bruxism early can be the difference between an uncomfortable week or a year. Give us a call to set up a preliminary appointment at 912-354-1366 or check out the other ways to contact us from our website. Since we are pleased to offer early morning and late afternoon appointments to accommodate your busy schedule, we hope you don’t suffer from TMJ pain for too long!

What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

When looking at your dental options for fixing your teeth, you have probably come across Invisalign at least once. What is Invisalign? How can it help me? Is it worth it? These questions are common, and everyone asks them when first looking at Invisalign. We are here to answer them for you, so keep reading to receive all the answers you need! 

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a newer dental treatment plan designed to straighten teeth without using metal braces. Because of the troubles that come with metal braces, including eating restrictions, metal wires in your mouth, and the general social stigma around them, Invisalign can be an excellent choice for those looking to straighten their teeth. 

Invisalign is designed to remove the problems with metal braces and does so quite well. Made from a transparent material, custom-fitted to each person’s mouth, and the ability to take them off and on, one no longer has to worry about eating restrictions or having metal wires crisscrossing their mouth. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

The Invisalign process is straightforward and smooth and consists of several steps to straighten your teeth with minimal problems. After the initial appointments and 3D scan of your teeth, your dentist will draw up a treatment plan for you that considers how long it will take to straighten your teeth and what your teeth may potentially look like at the end of the treatment. 

Once you have received your aligners, you will wear them all day, except when you eat, brush, and floss. Since they are designed to be removed, you can remove them for these brief moments of your day without worrying about affecting your treatment plan. However, it would be best if you did not go without wearing them for long periods as that could slow down your treatment. 

How Long Does Treatment Take?

When wearing Invisalign, you receive multiple pairs of aligners that you switch out every two weeks. Each aligner will begin to feel loose in your mouth over time, but you need to keep them in for the entire two weeks. Otherwise, your teeth and gums may not fully set in their new positions. 

Your treatment plan will take around a year, though depending on the severity of your teeth, your plan may be longer or shorter. Your dentist will let you know how long roughly it will take when drawing up your treatment plan. 

What Dental Problems Can Invisalign Fix?

Invisalign can fix many dental problems, but it ultimately depends on the severity of the issue and if anything else is causing it. When drawing up your treatment plan, your dentist will let you know if it can be solved via Invisalign. 

  • Crooked teeth
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Crossbite
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Open bite
  • Crowded teeth

Ready to Straighten Your Teeth?

Invisalign is an excellent choice for many people looking to have their teeth straightened, and their smile restored.To find out if Invisalign is the right choice for you and if it can fix your smile, schedule an appointment with us today at (912) 354-1366.

What is Sleep Apnea?

One man suffering of sleep apnea and snoring

Sleep Apnea is a type of sleep disorder. When someone has sleep apnea, it means they stop breathing for short periods of time while they are sleeping. It is most often characterized by snoring, the sound that occurs when the soft tissues of the mouth and throat vibrate as you breathe. If you have been told that you snore when you sleep, there is a possibility that you have sleep apnea. 

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you have symptoms you may notice any one or a combination of the following: 

  • Snoring. The most common indication is snoring, which is the audible sound made by vibrations of the tissues of your mouth and throat as your breath moves over them, indicating that your airway is partially blocked. 
  • Pauses in breathing. At times your airway will become completely blocked so that you stop breathing for seconds at a time. 
  • Waking up out of breath. If you wake up gasping for air or feeling out of breath, it indicates that your breathing was obstructed while you were sleeping. 
  • Feeling tired throughout the day. You may feel constantly tired no matter how much sleep you are getting. Sleep apnea prevents you from getting quality sleep. 
  • Lacking energy. Another indication of poor quality sleep due to sleep apnea is that you lack energy throughout the day. When sleep is not restful you may feel like you’re running on a low battery. 
  • Frequent waking at night. If you wake up multiple times throughout the night for no apparent reason, it may be due to sleep apnea. When you stop breathing for long enough for your brain to register the lack of oxygen, you will rouse from sleep enough to change positions so you can breathe again. Sometimes you may be aware of it and sometimes you may not. 
  • Dry mouth. Sleep apnea and snoring are characterized by mouth breathing, which can cause you to wake up with a dry mouth. 
  • Morning headaches. The lack of oxygen and quality sleep during the night can lead to a headache in the morning. 
  • Difficulty focusing. You may find that you have trouble focusing at school or work due to sleep apnea. 
  • Teeth grinding. In some cases teeth grinding and sleep apnea are related. 

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are 3 main types of sleep apnea: 

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: your breathing is obstructed by the soft tissues of your mouth and throat. 
  • Central Sleep Apnea: your brain fails to send the message to your diaphragm to draw air into your lungs. 
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: your sleep apnea is caused by both conditions. 

Health Risks Associated With Sleep Apnea

Why is it important to treat sleep apnea? Because better quality sleep, in addition to making you feel better, is crucial to your overall health and wellness. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a variety of health conditions, such as: 

  • High blood pressure and heart problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Problems with anesthesia and medications
  • Liver conditions (such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)

How Your Dentist Can Help 

When it comes to sleep disorders your first instinct may be to go to your primary care physician. However, your dentist can also diagnose and treat sleep apnea, but with a slightly different method. A sleep apnea mouthguard can be worn at night to reposition the jaw and tongue in order to prevent your airway from becoming blocked. It can keep you from snoring and ensure that you are breathing properly throughout the night. 

In many cases patients with obstructive sleep apnea can avoid the need for a CPAP machine by wearing a sleep apnea mouthguard. However, patients with central sleep apnea may still require a CPAP or other treatment. 

Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Sleep Apnea Treatment 

If you snore or have other symptoms of sleep apnea, Savannah Dental Solutions may be able to help. After a sleep apnea diagnosis we can create a custom sleep apnea mouthguard to reposition your jaw, tongue, and the other soft tissues of your mouth to prevent them from shifting back into your throat when you lay down to sleep. You’ll get better quality sleep and so will your partner, roommate, or anyone else who is affected by your sleep apnea. 

To learn more about sleep apnea solutions, call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How Do You Whiten Porcelain Veneers?

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Porcelain veneers don’t stain as easily as tooth enamel but can get stained or dull with age. So protecting your investment in veneers and maintaining your confidence is essential. Here are tips to whiten and keep your porcelain veneers looking their best.

Be Aware of Toothpaste

Toothpaste with baking soda can have a dulling effect on your porcelain veneers. In addition, baking soda toothpaste usage can cause them to wear down quickly and be more prone to staining.

There are numerous kinds of toothpaste on the market to remove stains from veneers, and these are available online or in-stores. Your dentist may have recommendations of brands that will work best or prescribe a prescription-strength fluoride to assist in whitening. Be aware that most polishing kinds of toothpaste will only remove minor staining.

Soft Bristle Toothbrush

Ensure that you are using a soft-bristle toothbrush when you brush your teeth. While it may seem that a firm brush gets your teeth cleaner, it can damage and dull the porcelain. In addition, if you are using a firm bristle, you may notice that your gums recede a bit which can lead to exposure of the base of your veneers.  

Using a soft-bristle brush ensures gentle treatment of your veneers while allowing complete cleaning of your teeth and mouth.

Healthy Habits

Make sure that you brush your teeth after eating or drinking foods that would likely stain teeth, such as coffee. Limiting acidic foods or sugary snacks will also help maintain the integrity of your veneers and prevent the breakdown of the porcelain.

Smoking will quickly discolor not only teeth but also veneers. Therefore, quitting smoking is recommended for your health and keeping your veneers stain-free and sparkling white.

Whitening Kits

You can whiten porcelain veneers using over-the-counter whitening kits like natural teeth. However, their effectiveness may not be as noticeable or may not work as well as on tooth enamel. Read and follow the instructions with the package to ensure you don’t damage your veneers in the process. Speak to your dentist before undergoing a teeth whitening process at home. 

Teeth Cleaning

It is crucial to get your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year, and doing so helps maintain overall gum and teeth health.

Cosmetic Dentist

If you are concerned about the discoloration of your veneers or if the methods mentioned above are not solving the issue, you may want to seek the help of your cosmetic dentist. Your dentist can check to see if the porcelain has worn off your veneers or if they need replacing. They will also have the tools to properly clean them to determine if the staining warrants replacement or is treatable.  

Learn More About Whitening Your Veneers

To learn more about whitening your porcelain veneers, call Savannah Dental Solutions today at 912-354-1366 to schedule an appointment.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Stomatologist comparing color of natural tooth with sealant filling, closeup

If your smile has some aesthetic issues that you wish you change, it may be your lucky day. Porcelain veneers work beautifully to remove any imperfections that may be keeping your lips closed, such as stains, misshapen teeth, chips, large gaps, and more. But before you invest your time and money in this solution, you may be wondering just how long will porcelain veneers last? 

Here’s everything you need to know. 

All About Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are bonded onto the front of the teeth to re-create the look of a beautiful tooth. Sometimes only one veneer is needed – others times a complete set. Either way, the results are fantastic – and it only takes one to dramatically change the appearance of a smile. 

To ensure that the veneer aligns beautifully with the surrounding teeth, the enamel of the tooth is shaved down a bit before the veneer is placed. Then, because it is custom-made for you with contouring and color, it blends uniformly with your other teeth. Any staining, chips, gaps, misshaped teeth, and so on are hidden behind the porcelain veneer. 

It should be noted that there are different types of veneers available, including porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and instant veneers. And while they all get the job done, porcelain veneers are the gold standard. They are made of very strong porcelain, allowing them to last the longest.

How Long Porcelain Veneers Last

Now that you know just how incredible porcelain veneers are, let’s talk about how long they last. 

The porcelain used for the veneers is strong. In fact, it may even be as strong – or stronger – than your natural enamel. And they are attached to your teeth using a very effective bonding agent. As a result, they have a very long lifespan – generally 10 years at a minimum. Though, it is not unusual for them to last up to 20 years if they are taken care of. 

It is generally a result of the bonding and not the porcelain when it comes time to replace them. 

Extend the Life of Your Porcelain Veneers

The good news is that there are steps you can take to extend the life of your porcelain veneers. The better you care for them, the better chance you have of keeping them for years to come. Developing a good oral hygiene routine is a great place to start. In other words, brushing at least twice each day and flossing at least once per day is important. Plus, you will want to keep up your routine dental appointments, getting professional cleanings every 6 months. 

Sometimes, it just comes down to how healthy your teeth are. You could take every step imaginable to increase the longevity of your veneers, but if the teeth underneath them are ailing or aren’t healthy, the veneers are going to feel the impact. 

Learn More About Porcelain Veneers

If you are interested in porcelain veneers to transform your smile, the highly-skilled team at Savannah Dental Solutions is here for you. 

Contact us today at 912-354-1366 to schedule an appointment.

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work?

Young woman in front of the mirror putting on her invisible silicone aligner. dental correction. mobile orthodontics
Young woman in front of the mirror putting on her invisible silicone aligner. dental correction. mobile orthodontics

Invisalign is a great option for those who are looking for a discreet way to get orthodontic treatment. It can straighten teeth, adjust bite issues, and even address overcrowding just like traditional braces can. However, it does so in a much different manner. 

If you are interested in Invisalign, but you are weighing your options, then you likely wonder how the length of Invisalign’s treatment compares to traditional braces. It’s understandable. But, before we can answer the question, you should know that the treatment time frame depends on a few different factors. 

Average Invisalign Treatment Time

Generally speaking, the average Invisalign treatment time is about 9 to 18 months to straighten teeth. Traditional metal braces with brackets and wires can take about the same amount of time, as well. Though, for some, traditional braces can take 2 to 3 years to fully finish treatment. 

Invisalign works beautifully for those with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, but more complex treatment will require traditional braces. This could explain a little bit about the treatment time. 

What Can Impact Treatment? 

Some people fly through their Invisalign treatment while others seem to keep wearing them, month after month. So, what causes this variation? There are a few things that can impact Invisalign treatment. Below are a couple of contributing factors. 

  • The complexity of your orthodontic needs. The more your teeth need to move or the greater the misalignment, the more extensive and time-consuming your treatment. Invisalign is designed with aligners that are to be worn for two weeks and then switched out for the next one in the series. This is all designed digitally so that you will have the right amount of aligners for your treatment. The more you have, the longer your treatment will take. 
  • How often you wear your aligners. Invisalign aligners are intended to be worn at least 20-22 hours per day. This allows you time to take the aligners out to eat, brush and floss your teeth, etc. Not wearing them as you should may greatly impact your treatment timeline. 
  • Treatment plan adjustments. If your dentist doesn’t feel the plan is moving as it should, he or she may make adjustments to your treatment. This can potentially change your treatment completion date. 

Complying with Treatment

With traditional braces, you don’t have the freedom to remove them at will since they are attached to your teeth. Invisalign, on the other hand, lets you remain in control. This means if you want to get your treatment done on time, you need to do a few things that will remove any chance of delay. 

  • Listen to your dentist. When you are given the instructions on how to comply with treatment – follow them. This includes when you should wear them and how often you should change them. And always be sure to keep your follow-up appointments. 
  • Wear your aligners as much as you can. Invisalign treatment only works when you are wearing the aligners. Even though you have the ability to take them out – wear them as much as you can so you can move through treatment in a timely manner. 
  • Invest in an aligner case. Every time you lose an aligner (which happens),  your progress is slowed. But, by investing in an aligner case – and always keeping it with you – you will have a designated place for your aligners when you take them out. 
  • Consider putting in a new aligner at bedtime. The initial few hours in a new aligner can be a little snug and uncomfortable. By switching them out at night, you get to ease yourself into the new aligner while asleep. 

Invisalign Treatment at Savannah Dental Solutions

At Savannah Dental Solutions, we love watching our patients transform their smiles through Invisalign treatment. If you are interested in learning more about it or to get started, contact us at (912) 354-1366.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Annoyed young woman suffering from toothache and touching jaw

If you have been experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw or around your ear, it could be TMJ disorder. This joint dysfunction affects more than 35 million people in the United States alone, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. 

So, what is TMJ disorder? What causes it? And, how can it be treated? Let’s talk about it. 

What is TMJ Disorder? 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your temporal bone (or upper jaw) to your lower jaw – and it is located on either side of the head, right next to the ear.  It is designed to move with a sliding hinge-like motion. But, when it is not functioning properly, it can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort. This is referred to as TMJ disorder. 

What Causes TMJ Disorder? 

There are many different things that can cause TMJ disorder, which is likely why it’s rate of prevalence is so high. Below is a list of the most common causes. 

  • Tooth or jaw alignment issues
  • Poor oral health
  • Stress
  • Bruxism (grinding or clenching)
  • Trauma to the mouth or jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Eroded disk (wear and tear)

Sometimes the cause is difficult to pinpoint, regardless of your signs or symptoms. 

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Most individuals who deal with TMJ disorder experience some level of discomfort. If you are experiencing any of the below, it is best to seek treatment from your dentist so that you may find relief. 

  • Jaw pain and/or tenderness
  • Pain around (or in) the ear 
  • Pain while chewing
  • Dull facial pain or ache
  • Clicking or grating sound when opening and closing mouth
  • Locking of the joint – being unable to open or close the mouth easily

Treating TMJ Disorder

Because TMJ disorder is so prevalent and doesn’t always cause debilitating pain, it is not uncommon for people to seek at-home treatments. For these mild causes that don’t cause too big of a disruption in life, you may want to try one of the following: 

  • Apply moist heat to the area
  • Apply ice to the area to reduce inflammation
  • Eat soft foods to give your jaw a rest
  • Relax your muscles and allow your jaw to loosen up
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary

However, for those cases of TMJ disorder that is a little more painful and disruptive – seeing the dentist is recommended. A thorough examination of your mouth and jaw alignment as well as determining the cause of the jaw disorder can help your dentist find the best treatment. For instance, if things are out of alignment, steps can be taken to realign the bite, teeth, and jaw, often using braces. Or oral appliances can benefit someone who has bruxism that is leading to TMJ disorder. 

To find any relief at all, though, you have to take the first step and visit the dentist. 

Find Treatment for TMJ Disorders at Savannah Dental Solutions

The entire team at Savannah Dental Solutions understands how much TMJ disorder can impact your overall quality of life. We want to help you find healing and comfort by providing you with the best care.