Good Dentistry is About More than Teeth
Dentistry has gone well beyond the realm of what it once was. At least, that’s the case at the office of Newton Centre dentist Ted Filandrianos DMD FAGD.
“When patients come in, we don’t just look at their teeth; we look at the whole patient,” says Dr. Filandrianos. In addition to doing standard dental procedures such as check-ups, fillings, crowns and veneers, he and his team try to determine the root cause of the problem. “If somebody comes in, they get a thorough evaluation of their head, their neck, their TMJ, their teeth, their muscles and we go from there,” he says.
An example of “going from there” is this scenario. A patient comes in for cosmetic work but also complains of chronic headache, neck and shoulder pain. He doesn’t realize he clenches or grinds his teeth something identifiable on examination. “Probably 25 percent of the population does it,” Filandrianos says. After an evaluation, neuromuscular dental associate Dr. Steve Bader DMD uses a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit to balance the muscles. “We rebuild the bite and make the patients comfortable,” Dr. Filandrianos says. “Most of the time, they’ll stop the grinding and clenching.”
Sometimes the grinding is a result of a problem not usually associated with dentistry. Dr. Filandrianos says there’s a strong correlation between bruxism (teeth grinding) and sleep apnea. “Almost everyone who has sleep apnea grinds their teeth,” he says, “but not everybody who grinds their teeth has sleep apnea.” A dentist cannot make a diagnosis of sleep apnea, so the Newton Centre team works with a physician who is board certified in sleep disorders.
For mild to moderate sleep apnea cases, a patient can wear an ADA-approved medical device while sleeping. It is much more comfortable and less cumbersome than the gold standard CPAP machine that is still necessary for patients with severe cases. “Dr. Bader uses the TENS unit to find out where their bite is the most balanced, and he’ll make the appliance at that position.”
Patients with any kind of dental disorder can receive treatment in the Newton Centre office. Dr. Filandrianos’ staff includes neuromuscular dentists, two surgeons, an endodontist and hygienists trained in periodontal cleaning techniques. They provide general, restorative and cosmetic dental services including implants, endodontics, neuromuscular dentistry, orthodontia, teeth whitening and veneers for a more comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to dentistry.
“I can refer a patient to the right specialist, and we’ll work together if they need implants, if they need the neuromuscular and then we’ll come up with a treatment plan.” In the past, a patient might have gone to a periodontist who would just check the gums and not take x-rays or check the teeth. Likewise, an endodontist might have done a root canal on a tooth that could not be restored.
In Dr. Filandrianos’ practice, everything is done in one place and he’s happy about that. “This is an exciting time to be in dentistry,” he says, “because there’s so much innovation and so much you can do to help people.” He recently purchased a 3D CEREC® machine that creates veneers and make crowns in an hour. “When a patient finishes a root canal, they see me right afterward and get the crown done everything at the same time.”
Being thorough is the key to patient satisfaction in Dr. Filandrianos’ dental practice. “We can give patients natural-looking teeth and a smile that looks great,” he says, “but we can also get rid of their chronic headache, chronic neck pain and so forth just by doing a thorough examination.”This is a paid partnership between Ted Filandrianos and Boston Magazine