• 02 6295 3006
  • Mon - Thu: 8:00am – 5:30pm & Fri: 8.00am - 4.30pm
  • 27 Jardine St Kingston ACT 2604

CRANIOFACIAL PAIN SLEEP & WELLBEING

Your first choice for Holstic Dental Care in Canberra.

At Symmetry Dental we take pride in our holistic approach to health. We believe that every patient should be treated on an individual basis – worthy of unique, personalised, one-on-one treatment. Gone are the days of production-line dentistry and orthodontics – our focus is on working with our patients to achieve shared functional and aesthetic health goals.

 

  • Head, Neck and Jaw Pain Management

    Head, Neck and Jaw Pain Management

    The treatment of chronic pain of the head and neck is a difficult diagnostic puzzle.  In an acute injury, the pain is at the site of origin, in a chronic condition however, the brain and body have instigated a variety of compensatory mechanisms that may drastically alter the degree and location of symptoms.  Diagnostic postural balance tests are used to prioritise treatment and identify the origin of the presenting symptoms, which may involve: muscle pain of the head, neck or back; dizziness or vertigo; migraine; pain in the arms, hands or shoulders; sleep deprivation; swallowing difficulty; and many other symptoms.

    Chronic pain of the head and neck regions is often a symptom related to TMJ syndrome.

    The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, attaches the mandible (lower jaw) to the skull. Jaw movement is controlled by a complex balance of several muscles and ligaments. Many of these muscles also attach to the neck and shoulders and are important in stabilising the head (think of a 15lb bowling ball) on the cervical spine or neck. Acute whiplash-type injuries or chronic conditions such as a bad bite or aberrant breathing and swallowing habits all result in postural compensation of the head and neck, causing these stabilising muscles to be constantly activated.

    Coincident with muscular protection systems is a neurological alarm called the autonomic nervous system (the ANS). The ANS protects the body by turning on or off all the involuntary services the body requires to maintain ‘homeostasis’ or balance. This includes blood pressure, blood sugar levels, breathing rate and muscle activity. When this system is constantly in alarm mode its ability to maintain homeostasis is compromised, leading to pain and other systemic medical conditions.

    Orthopostural dentistry involves an initial focus on stabilising or balancing the head on the cervical spine. Studies show that 94% of head posture compensation is a result of jaw joint dysfunction. Jaw stabilisation is achieved using acrylic molar splints at night. For many patients this restoration of structural balance is all that is required for pain to be alleviated and the stomatognathic system to be returned to normal function. For patients in a more ‘compensated’ or denatured state, more complex treatment may be required, such as further structural (cranial) release; a focus on biochemical factors; associated evaluation of emotional input; and other allied modalities. Experience has demonstrated to us that it is important to treat each of these further compensations in priority – much like peeling an onion – and a systematic, closely monitored approach is required.

     

     

  • Ortho Postural Dentistry

    Ortho Postural Dentistry

    Our aim is the incorporation of innovation, knowledge and experience to deliver a higher level of patient well-being.

    Oral health involves understanding the ultimate relationship between jaw growth, airway physiology, sleep quality and head and neck posture.  Breakdown of teeth, excessive wear, jaw joint inflammation and muscular or neurological pain in the head or neck are often signs of the result of the body’s breakdown when compensating for less than ideal growth and development.

    Symmetry Dental examines the patient to determine the causal sequence represented by the problem in question before commencing a treatment program. This approach has proven to deliver a much higher level of care, where head and jaw pain problems are relieved before restorative, orthodontic or surgical procedures are undertaken.

    Ortho-Postural Dentistry brings together years of research and understanding from the fields of sports medicine, neurology, orthopaedics, respiratory and whole body physiology and chronic pain treatment. The philosophy is based on rehabilitation of injured tissues, including worn teeth, with a view to restoring optimal function.

    The system of treatment is based on aligning the skeletal system, which in turn results in a balanced muscular relationship. Minimal wear and stress to the supporting structures is therefore achieved.

     

     

  • Early Intervention Guided Growth Orthopaedic Orthodontics

    Guided Growth – Dentofacial Orthopaedics

    Ortho-postural dentistry starts with the developing infant and growing child. A major aim is to correct aberrant myofunctional habits, establishing an ideal breathing pattern and developing jaw bones to their ideal genetic potential.  These functions are critical to the child’s physical, emotional, biochemical and aesthetic development.

    The body is design to grow ideally, i.e. well-developed maxilla, well positioned mandibles, straight teeth and upright body posture. The tongue has a genetic blue print to grow to a certain predetermined size and so the goal of orthopedics/orthotropics is to make room for the tongue. The mandible is the cradle for the tongue; the maxilla is the garage for the lower jaw. The tongue (and mandible) will continue to grow into the patients mid 20’s.

    Most orthodontic (tooth alignment) problems are a result of an underdeveloped maxilla and/or aberrant breathing and swallowing problems:

    • 90% of midface growth (i.e. maxilla to orbits) is complete by 9 years old (100% by 12 years)
    • Growth of the midface is driven by pressure stimulation i.e. air pressure through nasal passages and tongue pressure against palate during swallowing
    • The mandible is sized to match to the tongue.
    • Lack of proper breast feeding and the early use of ‘baby foods’ delays the critical ’adult swallow’ pattern at the under 2 years age bracket.
    • An aberrant swallow pattern maintains a low tongue posture (rather than an upward, forward ,lateral action).This results in a downward backward growth pattern of the mandible (vertical growth or long Face Syndrome).
    • Vertical growth patterns (backward rotated lower jaws ) result in compression of the T M joints, constricted airways and resulting forward head posture (often with related chronic head and neck pain )
    • Hard foods are also important to stimulate bone growth due to pressure on the edentulous ridges or on deciduous teeth.

     

     

  • Respiratory & Myofunctional Centre

    Respiratory & Myofunctional Centre

    Symmetry Dental is one of only a few dental practices Australia-wide to have a dedicated, in-house breathing and orofacial myology training program. Our Respiratory & Myofunctional Centre aims to enhance the functional growth processes of the face and jaw and is an integral element in all orthopaedic, orthodontic, sleep and pain-management treatment at Symmetry Dental. With new research cementing the link between ideal respiratory & myofunctional habits and growth, development and stabilisation of the craniofacial system, it is becoming more apparent that there is a need for retraining of aberrant breathing and swallowing habits to assist patients in development when young; and in long-term retention of results from treatment performed when older. The link between airway compromise (from inadequate or inappropriate craniofacial development) and sleep/life quality is at the forefront of our treatment philosophy – and the Symmetry Dental Respiratory & Myofunctional Centre helps to make this philosophy a reality!

    Embarking upon a program to retrain and enhance your breathing can have a remarkably beneficial effect upon your performance, stamina and enjoyment of sport and exercise at any level – from weekend warrior to elite athlete.

    Having difficulty with CPAP compliance?

    Retraining your breathing system to be more efficient may help to make your life-saving sleep mask easier to wear. Snoring? Better breathing means less snoring – and what do you have to lose?

    Breathing is essential for life – so why not do it well?

    Contact the practice today to make an appointment for a respiratory and myofunctional assessment on 02 6295 3006. See the Resources page to find out more.

     

  • Sleep and wellness

    Sleep and wellness

    As an extension of our in-house Respiratory and Myofunctional Centre, Symmetry Dental are pleased to provide the ability for our patients to undertake a take-home 12-channel Medibyte Sleep Study device. We are able to perform preliminary and screening tests for Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB), in conjunction with associative daytime respiratory assessments, to develop a broad analysis and understanding of the quality and efficiency of your sleep. Symmetry Dental liaises with local and interstate Sleep Medicine experts to score, analyse and diagnose on the basis of in-house testing methodologies.

    In addition to screening for SDB, Symmetry practitioners are experts in the appropriate use of Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) for snoring and other airway-related sleep disorders. Our devices are custom designed and built to your unique jaw, grinding pattern and body-type. Symmetry Dental is able to thus provide an astoundingly high level of individualised MAD treatment with an outstanding success rate.

    All take-home Sleep Study Screening Tests include follow-up appointments for scoring and explanation of results; respiratory and myofunctional assessment; and assistance in optimising lifestyle factors related to your sleep and overall wellbeing.

    To enquire about the availability of a Screening Sleep Study or Respiratory Assessment, contact Symmetry Dental on: 02 6295 3006.