Functional Dentistry: Getting to the Bottom of Better Oral Health

  1. Does your general dentistry practitioner practice functional dentistry?

When choosing a dentist, it’s important to consider what type of dentistry they practice. It’s true: not all dentists subscribe to the same philosophies about dentistry and its role in prevention and treatment. At Masterpiece Smiles in St. Louis, Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith practice what is known as functional dentistry: a type of holistic dentistry that focuses heavily on prevention. Our team believes that dental treatment, when performed correctly, should actively improve our patient’s health and quality of life both now and in the future.

Read on to learn more about functional dentistry and how it can benefit you and your family.

If you are looking for a holistic approach to dental care in St. Louis, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors today! Drs. Mike or Jeremy Frith can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your oral health and develop actionable steps that will help you improve the health, function, and beauty of your smile.

What is functional dentistry?

Functional dentistry is an approach to improving oral health by treating the origins of health issues, not just the secondary symptoms as they arise. Often, tooth decay or periodontal disease are symptoms of bigger lifestyle, health, or nutritional issues.

Similar to how functional medicine takes a holistic approach to solving health problems like anxiety or high blood pressure, dentists who practice functional dentistry gather lots of information to help proactively improve a patient’s oral health.

Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith have seen that often, conditions such as tinnitus, sleep apnea, mouth breathing, migraines, snoring, TMJ/TMD, and even crooked teeth can be manifestations of other complications. Sometimes, restricted tongue function, improper myofunctional habits or an underdeveloped airway can be the underlying cause of many maladies throughout the body.

How does functional dentistry differ from conventional dentistry?

Traditional dentistry is often more focused on restorative treatment, usually to fix harmful issues after they have occurred and have been detected. Fillings, root canals or gum disease treatment is quickly performed so the patient can continue life as normal. Preventive measures may simply include bi-annual dental cleanings, and an encouragement to brush and floss daily.

Functional dentistry, however, attempts to solve underlying causes of oral health complications before they manifest into “common” issues such as tooth decay or periodontal disease.

Both traditional and functional dentistry use many of the same tools and can both effectively eliminate common dental problems. However, dentists who practice functional dentistry will aim to educate and advisepatients on how to prevent future dental problems. They may offer nutritional advice, or may suggest certain treatments or procedures to treat underlying issues, like restricted tongue function, that could be contributing to dental problems.

A focus on prevention is usually the primary way that conventional and functional dentistry differs.

How can functional dentistry help me and my family?

Choosing a dental provider, like Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith, who subscribes to functional dentistry practices can help your family better care for their teeth and gums and can actually prevent costly restorative treatments down the road.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we know that proper dental education is critically important. We desire our patients to play an active role in their oral health maintenance. Our team ensures that patients have the knowledge and resources they need to daily improve the beauty and strength of their smiles through daily lifestyle changes and practices.

In addition, we use advanced technology to help diagnose and treat underlying health issues. Just a few of the advanced tools Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith use include:

  • Laser cavity detection, to more accurately spot early signs of tooth decay
  • Intraoral photos
  • 3D x-rays
  • Jaw vibration analysis, to evaluate TMJ conditions
  • T-scan bite scans, to ensure a properly aligned bite
  • Motor nerve reflex tests, to ensure normal reflex activity in the jaw joint, neck and other parts of your body

These tools, combined with our doctors’ preventive approach, help so many of our patients and families receive treatments that eliminate frustrating or painful secondary symptoms and help them experience a better quality of life.

Ready to discover how functional dentistry can improve your smile? Call us today at 636.394.5200.

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About the Author

Mike Frith

Being St. Louis’s leader in accredited cosmetic dentistry gives patients confidence. Accreditation by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry sets the very highest standard in cosmetic dentistry. Patients feel comfortable knowing their dentist has achieved excellence in virtually every type of cosmetic case. Less than 1% of dentist nationwide can offer that. St. Louis’ first Diplomate in craniofacial pain and Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine gives patients solutions for a new beginning. With proper evaluation and diagnosis, the conditions of Craniofacial pain, sleep apnea and snoring can be successfully treated with non-surgical therapies. It’s my goal to return patients back to where they can breathe, sleep, heal and live again.