~ By Suzette Martinez Standring
Dream Smile Dental in Canton creates much more than a movie star smile. Through neuromuscular dentistry, longtime sufferers are freed from headaches, dizziness, TMJ, or neck and shoulder pain. Sleep apnea can be treated with success. Cosmetic beauty is a secondary benefit.
Mel Robbins, radio 96.9 FM and TV celebrity, suffered for 16 years with TMJ. It caused a clicking sound in her mouth, ear pain, and at times, her jaw would lock into place. Doctor visits and dental devices made elsewhere gave her no relief. Four months ago at Dream Smile Dental, neuromuscular dentistry freed her from years of suffering, just in time to film a new reality series for A&E, “Monsters-in-Law.”
“It’s about moving in with people who are at war with each other and I help them through it. It’s very stressful. Thank God I had that bite guard made,” said Robbins.
“People are not aware that many problems come from grinding their teeth, the malfunction of the joints and their bite not being correct,” said Evetta Shwartzman, DMD, LVIF, who in 1994 co-founded Dream Smile Dental with Konstantin Ronkin, DMD, LVIF.
Located at 2184 Washington Street in Canton, their original 700-square foot office expanded to its current 4,000 square feet and now employs 25 employees. A sister branch operates in Moscow. Both partners practiced dentistry in Russia before emigrating to the U.S. and earning their American second dental degrees from Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine.
What was created for Mel Robbins was no ordinary bite guard. Dream Smile Dental uses state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and to fit patients with corrective devices. How is it done? Sensors are placed on a patient’s face and on the lower teeth. A computer tracks jaw movement, range of motion, tongue placement, and the functioning of joints and muscles. A precise diagnosis is determined with 3-D imaging.
Stress causes unnatural chewing patterns, teeth grinding, or clenching habits. To find the jaw’s most natural alignment, complete relaxation is induced by attaching sensors that gently massage the face and jaw through electrical stimulation for about 45 minutes. “It feels like a warm twitching, much like physical therapy,” said Dr. Shwartzman, age 49.
When the jaw moves into natural alignment, an impression is taken and a corrective mouthpiece is made. “That’s how the muscles start to restructure themselves. They get used to the new relaxed muscle position. You wear the device at night, sometimes during the day,” said Dr. Shwartzman, a resident of Sharon. Individual solutions could range from wearing a corrective device to full mouth reconstruction.
Neuromuscular dentistry can address a wide range of painful symptoms. “My hygienist suffered from tremendous shoulder pain that she did not connect to TMJ. After treatment the pain went away,” said Dr. Shwartzman.
Neuromuscular dentistry also treats sleep apnea which, if left untreated, can lead to heart attack or stroke. Successful treatment is performed with a Mandibular Repositioning Device (MRD). For diagnosis purposes, a sleep study is required, or Dream Smile Dental can loan patients a device that resembles a big watch that can be worn on the arm at night. It tracks data, such as frequency, length and volume of snoring, sleeping positions and oxygen saturation. Then a corrective device is fashioned for the patient to wear at night. The mouthpiece snaps into place allowing the jaw to stay down and forward, thus keeping airways open during sleep.
“Think of CPR. You tilt the jaw down and forward to open the airways. It’s the same principle and the results are instant. People can breathe. It stops snoring and prevents teeth grinding,” said Dr. Shwartzman.
Dream Smile Dental is a leader in cosmetic dentistry. For example, crooked teeth can be fixed through Invisalign, which are invisible, clear plastic aligners. “Every two weeks, the clear trays are changed to realign the teeth. They’re very popular because many teenagers and adults don’t want to wear metal braces,” said Dr. Shwartzman.
Dream Smile Dental earned the rare Invisalign Award, which requires ongoing continuing education and a minimum of 800 lifetime cases to qualify. Only thirteen dentists in the world have earned the award, and Dream Smile Dental is the sole recipient in New England. “We’ve done more than 800 cases since 1999 when we first began using Invisalign,” said Diana Shwartzman, director of marketing.
For the very fearful, Dream Smile Dental is certified to offer sedation dentistry and patients are closely monitored during procedures. “But once people get here, they find out how friendly and gentle we are, and they often choose not to use sedation,” said Dr. Shwartzman. Special financing for all procedures is available.
Using the latest technology allows Dream Smile Dental to offer each patient a precise diagnosis and accurate treatment. Every day, neuromuscular dentistry frees patients from years of pain. A movie star smile is just the icing on the cake.
Dream Smile Dental
2184 Washington St. Canton, MA, 02021