I really, truly love treating patients for migraines and chronic headaches, and this was a case that was even more satisfying than usual, because my patient was only 10 years old when we made his NTI. He was in for a 6-month exam and cleaning today, and in talking with both him and his mother, we found that he was faithfully wearing his NTI and having 100% relief! Here’s what his Mom wrote to us in thanking us for helping her son, even though the other doctors he’d seen said there was nothing wrong with him:
“Hassan began suffering from frequent headaches last year. It took a while to pinpoint the source of these headaches until Hassan visited Dr. Payet’s office for a routine cleaning. During the exam, jDr. Payet asked Hassan if he had headaches in the morning and how often. This was a key question that eventually led to the discovery that Hassan would need a NTI to assist in aiding him with the necessary buffer to relieve the pressure of him clenching his teeth @ night. The clenching was the direct cause of his headaches.
I’m happy to say that Hassan has been 100% pain free since he received his nightguard!
We cannot thank Dr. Payet enough for the major role he played in correcting a major issue for Hassan.”
I’d like to supplement the last post about Kat’s treatment with the story of a discussion we had after an appointment sometime in 2008, when she’d had her NTI-tss nightguard for about 18-20 months. It demonstrates just how “miraculous” a treatment the NTI can be for chronic migraine headaches.
When Kat first came to us, she had suffered migraine headaches for as long as she could remember (I’m not allowed to tell you how long that is, of course – a gentleman never asks nor tells a lady’s age!), and she had tried practically every medication, had every scan done, had allergy testing done, massage, chiropractic, physical therapy……….you name it, she’d tried it. I think the only thing she hadn’t done was Botox, ’cause she doesn’t like that idea.
2 weeks after starting to wear her NTI, Kat came in for her first follow-up visit and told us in amazement and pleasure that the ONLY headache she’d had in those 2 weeks was the day after drinking a bit too much and forgetting to wear her NTI. It was one of the first days in years she had no headache and no migraine! And that continues today…….
But the cool thing…..because sometimes people are hesitant to pay $600+ for a “nightguard” from a DENTIST, of all people, to treat their headaches……after she’d had her NTI for those 18 months, I asked her the following question:
“Kat, if I were to offer you $1,000 (One Thousand Dollars) to buy your NTI back from you, with the condition that you could never get another one, would you take it?”
Kat looked at me as if I were crazy for a moment before bursting out laughing and asking, “Are you crazy???? No way!”
So there you go…she wouldn’t even accept $1,000 for a piece of acrylic and lexan, because it’s made that big a difference in her life.
Would you be willing to pay $1,000 if all you had to do to get rid of your migraine headaches was to wear a custom-fitted and adjusted dental nightguard? Instead of all the medications? What if your insurance would not cover it?
Given that I occasionally suffer migraine headaches myself (usually when I’m overworked, not sleeping well, not eating enough, AND most importantly, not wearing MY NTI), and I know just how excruciating the pain can be, I am often amazed that someone would not pay $650, which is our usual fee, to stop the suffering, but they would prefer to keep suffering because their insurance won’t take it. Huh? I don’t get it……
I just can’t say it enough – if you grind your teeth, you need a properly made and professionally adjusted nightguard!
Perfect situation this morning: a young lady of only 29 years age came in for a root canal and crown on a lower molar because of a badly cracked tooth. It didn’t look all that bad on the outside, and seeing how small the previous filling was, you’d really think that the chances of this are practically non-existent……..but you’d be wrong. Take a look:
And let me tell you – it is NOT a coincidence that this young lady has suffered from chronic migraines for years, but we haven’t addressed that for her quite yet. First we had to get her out of the terrible pain she had every time she bit down.
If you grind or clench your teeth (and notice that this tooth doesn’t even look worn down or flattened), please be willing to spend a little money, even if your insurance doesn’t cover it. It could literally save you THOUSANDS of dollars in dental treatment, lots of time in the dentist’s chair, and even pain.
NPR aired a story this morning (March 5th, 2009) that has to do with snoring, sleep apnea, and the wide-ranging effects that they can have on behaviour, brain function, etc. This is something I”ve been studying and talking to patients about for several years now, but it’s gaining wider acceptance in the medical fields. On the most basic level, sleep disorders cause a decrease in oxygen levels to the brain, which results in various decreases in function and can have significant effects on your overall health.
Please take some time to listen to the reports and read the articles – wonderful information!
Many people grind their teeth. Many people clench their teeth. Many do both. The worst part is, though, that many have no idea that they do it, or how much damage they’re doing to their teeth — or how much it could cost to fix. Sadly, too, many dentists don’t do anything about it either. Here are 2 examples of just how badly one can damage teeth by grinding/clenching.
Look how uneven the teeth are as they’ve been ground down. See the gum recession and the deep “notches” in the teeth? These things are NOT caused just by growing older and our mouths aging. It takes incredible force to wear down enamel, which is the hardest substance in your body. But once you wear through enamel into the second tooth layer – dentin – that wears down much faster and the damage accelerates.
Both of these gentleman wanted better-looking smiles. The first one was completed over 4 years ago; we are still in the process of completely rebuilding the mouth of the second gentleman. Needless to say, it is very expensive to rebuild teeth like this. Sadly, it could have been almost completely avoided if they had known about and used a nightguard years ago.
So if you think you grind your teeth – call us today! Sure, your nightguard might cost several hundred dollars………but what is that compared to thousands and thousands of dollars in treatment and many hours of time in the dentist’s chair. You’re investing in the future health of your mouth.
Don’t wait like these gentlemen did. Call us at 704-364-7069 and make your appointment to have a nightguard made and protect your teeth!
Visit our Smiles by Payet Dentistry page on this for more information on the NTI-tss nightguard.
Oh, it feels so good to finally be able to announce this, as I’ve been working on it so hard for so many nights after my family has gone to bed, but FINALLY I have begun producing some new Patient Education videos to help explain a number of options that we offer by using pictures of many similar cases.
Over the last 4 years, I have amassed a catalog of about 38,000 digital photographs of the work that we do. You can see my Photography Blog post on the subject of Patient Communication with Digital Photography for more info on how/why we take pictures of our work, but now I’m finally able to turn a lot of those photos into various video formats to highlight problems that many patients have, often without even realizing it, and to let our patients actually see what they can expect once the treatment is completed. It’s really quite exciting! We’re not talking about “stock” photography here, of work that someone else did. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the pictures that you’ll see were taken by Dr. Payet (me), and every completed procedure was performed by Dr. Payet (me) and my Team. (Hope you don’t mind me talking about myself in the 3rd person for a moment there; I was having a Bob Dole flashback after reading some political articles. 🙂
We’ll look forward to showing you these new videos when you come in!
Don’t have any of those videos in Web format quite yet, but keep an eye on our website, Smiles by Payet Dentistry, for them to begin appearing there within the next few weeks. You’ll be able to see and understand so much more easily, I promise!
One of my favorite therapies to offer patients is the NTI-tss, also known as the Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition – tension suppression system. From the name, it’s easy to see why we simply call it the NTI, though. 🙂 Why is it one of my favorite therapies? For a very simple reason: it’s not often that you can literally transform someone’s life for the better in a couple weeks or months with no medications, no surgery, and at a very reasonable fee ……. but that is something that we do regularly with the NTI.
It’s such a simple-looking device, and it’s often difficult for people to understand how such a small nightguard can make such a dramatic difference, and often even more difficult to believe that a dentist can help them, even after they have been to every other kind of doctor and had every kind of test and scan imaginable.
So how does a dentist treat migraines with the NTI-tss?
The essential basis for why the NTI is so effective is this: we now know that many migraines and chronic tension headaches are triggered by either CLENCHING or GRINDING of your teeth.
“WHAT?!?!?!” might be a natural question at this point, so please feel free to express your disbelief at this time. 🙂 Don’t worry – that’s a common reaction. But think about an analogy that I often find effective with patients. Imagine that you decided to work out your biceps every day for 3-5 hours/day with a 2-3 lb. weight. Sure that’s not a lot, but for 3-5 hours per day? For weeks on end? For months on end? Maybe for YEARS on end? How do you think your biceps would feel? Ok, now imagine how all the muscles involved in opening and closing your jaws would feel if you decided to work them out for 3-5 hours every night for days, weeks, months, or years on end? Don’t you think that, in either scenario, the muscles involved would probably hurt like crazy?
I’m not going to get into all the details, as that gets extremely complicated, but if you’ll bear with me a moment and accept that this is a possibility, then wouldn’t it be logical if – by stopping or at least minimizing that clenching or grinding action — you could stop all the incredible muscle fatigue and pain, and the headaches would either go away or be greatly decreased? Well, that is just what the NTI does, and it does it far more effectively than any other type of nightguard I’ve ever prescribed for patients.
The NTI is not just a device to minimize/stop clenching and grinding, though — it can be a very effective tool in diagnosing the problem itself. In fact, it’s a critical part of the use of the NTI; we don’t just make one for you, put it in and say, “Bye – hope it works!” It’s a process – one that can take just a few days to be effective, or one that may take many months of very careful analysis and refinement to figure out precisely what the muscular problem is and how the NTI should be best adjusted for the individual.
Here’s a brief PDF video of how the markings that I see on the NTI help me determine what’s going on; also look carefully to see how different the patterns are to understand how much it varies from one person to another. And in future posts I’ll expand on this whole process more. If you’d like to ask specific questions, please comment!
It’s been a long time coming – a much needed makeover for the Smiles by Payet website. Thanks to Marie McClaflin of Arc Brand Marketing, we took what was still most useful from the old site, updated the info on our outstanding Team (portraits of each will be online soon, too), added better ways to contact us (we now have email addresses for each individual Team Member), and soon we’ll be adding new info on our CEREC CAD/CAM system, the Zeiss PICO dental operating microscope, and plenty more links to really useful and informational websites on many dental topics.
In the near future we also plan on adding video testimonials from a number of patients who’ve benefitted from the NTI-tss, the only FDA-approved and non-medication treatment for Migraine and Chronic Tension Headaches (I’ll be posting more on this soon), as well as some short video introductions for myself and our Team Members – Rosie Bonnett, Kerri Rucker, Marie Whittington, and Kim Pleasants.
We also have a number of recent Smile Makeovers and Short-Term Adult Ortho cases that will showcase just how dramatic a change can be achieved by either of these techniques, as well as some new examples of Deep Bleaching (you will be amazed, I promise!), and Before/After pictures of those will be posted soon, as well as here.
The website name is still the same, but it’s a whole new look! SmilesbyPayet.com