Our members have worked with hundreds of patients with occlusion related disorders. Often these patients have suffered from chronic pain. Here are a selection of case studies where our members have seen particular outstanding results from treatment by a BSOS member.
Gillian had suffered from severe headaches for ten years. She had seen countless doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and had now been referred to a psychiatrist for treatment having been on light and powerful antidepressants for a year without any improvement. The advice she was given was to continue on heavy antidepressants for a further six months and then return for a review. It was only that Gillian was advised not to drive for the whole six months which prompted her – a company rep who depended on her car, to consult our member. To Gillian, that she slept properly for the first time in ten years having had a deprogrammer fitted, was of profound importance. The cycle of the dependents had to be broken somewhere and this gave her the single biggest shot of confidence in medicine for ten years. Her headaches were improved in one day and gone within three. Follow up treatment with the second appliance and work on adjusting Gillian’s teeth fitted together proved to be very demanding, the size of the bite error being tiny. Nevertheless, an excellent result was achieved. Two years on, Gillian is still being weaned off the medication she had been on. Gillian’s confidence in herself has been restored. Her performance at work has been improved and she is more or less back to her old self.
There is no link between the size of the bite error and the scale of pain experienced by a patient. In this case a tiny error was producing severe symptoms which had literally driven the patient into psychiatric treatment. The logic behind her treatment was the same as with the other case studies. All that was needed for our member to be able to spot the microscopic bite error, listen to the patient and work to tolerances which would make a Rolls Royce engineer break out into a sweat.
Susan is a supervisor with Marks and Spencer. She is married with two children and has developed regular headaches over the last nine months. A very attractive woman, Susan takes pride in her appearance and saw one of our members when she noticed that her front teeth had begun to wear down. She had not been involved in an accident and was very concerned when her delightful smile started to look flat at the front.
Our member was concerned that a crown that Susan had had fitted on an upper back tooth nine months previous, appeared to be deflecting her lower jaw forwards when she closed her teeth together. He also noted that Susan’s facial muscles were very tight when he tried to move her lower jaw. A deprogrammer was made which produced an immediate relaxation in the tight muscles. This, along with a second plastic appliance stopped the wear from deteriorating any further. Plaster cast of Susan’s teeth were studied on a special piece of equipment and further work on the plaster cast suggested that the crown was the major error in her bite. Once the crown had been adjusted into its correct shape, the wear on Susan’s teeth stopped. The tightness in her muscles resolved and excessive sensitivity of her teeth to cold and warmth was dramatically improved.
Sometimes, bite errors can be introduced by fillings or crowns which are not in harmony with the patients natural jaw movements. Special expertise is required to diagnose and treat such conditions. This patient referred herself on the recommendation of a friend. Good dentists never object to second opinions because a fresh pair of eyes see problems in a clearer context. Susan is delighted with the result achieved for her by our member.
Jane, a 33 year old civil servant, transferred to working with the CSA – a high stress job, with Jane being regularly subjected to aggressive clients. The aggression was focused down the telephone – Jane never met any of the clients. Normally, relaxed and easy going with an exemplary sickness record, Jane began to go home with a headache which she described as being like “someone had put a tight band around my head”. Over the next three months Jane’s headaches increased in severity, lasted for longer and began to cause problems in her marriage. Her partner insisted that she should go to the doctor. Ever the professional civil servant, Jane insisted that things would settle down when she had got into the swing of her new job. She treated herself with Ibuprofen – an over the counter pain killer, but found that she was needing to take more pain relief as each week went by. Her work began to suffer and instead of arriving home looking forward to her evening, Jane began to look forward to a large glass of wine to mask the pain she was in. Jane did consult her doctor who prescribed a more powerful pain killer.
One of Jane’s work colleagues told her about tooth related headaches – she had read a leaflet in one of our member’s waiting rooms. Jane was examined and a small plastic deprogrammer made for her to wear at home or in the car. All of Jane’s pain went in 30 minutes but came back over a few hours when she took the deprogrammer out. The diagnosis having been confirmed, a special plastic block was prescribed which the patient could wear at work, home or when driving. Four months later, minute changes were made into how Jane’s teeth fitted and slid against each other. This procedure was painless and required no injections. Jane has not had any headaches since 1996.
Jane was clearly living within her normal limitations in her previous job. The addition of significant stress from her new job was the factor which pushed Jane into developing her headaches. Jane had three choices. Either change job, have occlusal treatment or both. Jobs don’t grow on trees any more so treatment was appropriate and sensible. The final outcome was a happy patient who has since recommended several of her colleagues to our member.