Patients and Neck Pain: How You Can Help

We have all experienced what might seem like a stiff neck because we slept the wrong way or whipped our head around too fast. Or, let’s face it, we might have even done one small movement that normally wouldn’t cause pain, but did—we’ve all been there. Either way, when your patients experience neck pain it can disrupt their daily activities while limiting movements. That neck pain or stiffness they are experiencing can be related to their oral health.

Understanding Neck Pain

When it comes to neck pain, it is important to help your patients find a treatment option. Neck pain can come from many different places, with the most common cause being simple overexertion or muscle strain. Regardless of the source of the neck pain, it is clear that treating it can often be a challenge—especially in cases of chronic discomfort.

Many treatments simply address neck pain without correcting the actual issue that is causing neck pain in the first place. Today, more and more people are beginning to discover the benefits of visiting their dentist about their neck pain. So, when a patient suffers from neck pain, you want to be able to provide them relief within your dental practice—it saves them another trip to the doctor!

The Connection

It is important to understand the underlying connection between neck pain and oral origins. Most people consider neck pain to be limited solely to physical stress. However, the mouth and jaw hold significant clues as to why your patients are experiencing neck pain—it is often linked to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is highly complex and has a wide range of motions.

The TMJ is responsible for coordinating every movement of the mouth, whether speaking or chewing. While it is responsible for an array of movements of the mouth, it can often be prone to improper function, which is TMD. This shifting can disturb the natural and correct pattern in which a patient’s teeth come together, which can cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues.

Due to this inflammation and pain, your patient might be experiencing neck pain. Through your knowledge of TMD and the problems that are associated with the TMJ, you can help your patients find relief from their neck pain. To learn more about TMD, neck pain, and craniofacial pain, I encourage you to attend an upcoming seminar or lecture series—it can make all the difference in helping you diagnose and treat your patients’ pain.

Why Should I Treat Craniofacial Pain in My Office?

woman-painDentistry is about more than just teeth and gums—it has to do with not only treating oral health, but overall health as well. For that reason, I want you to begin to contemplate offering craniofacial pain services in your office. By offer craniofacial pain services in your practice, you are creating more opportunity for yourself and your team to help treat patients and improve their overall quality of life.

Tell Me More…

Well, craniofacial pain can often be a difficult subject because most dentists receive very little education and exposure to treating patients with these conditions. I understand how important it is to continue to improve your education and understanding of the dental field—I complete continuing courses yearly, too. By advancing your understanding of craniofacial pain, you can better understand how beneficial it is for patients when they visit your dental office.

Continuing Education

I, personally, have received extensive training in treating craniofacial pain and am available to work with other dentists to provide proper training so that you can provide craniofacial pain diagnosis and treatment at your dental office. I received my Certificate in Fundamentals of Diagnosis and Treatment of TMD and CFP from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. I also received Fellowship from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (FAACP) and Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain (DABCP).

To continue your education in the area of craniofacial pain, I suggest visiting my Lectures page to view upcoming dates. By attending these lectures, you can continue to improve the services you offer at your dental practice! Because this pain is not new, it is important to understand where it is coming from and how to properly treat it. As a dentist you are the first line of defense for patients suffering from craniofacial pain—there is a growing realization that a common cause of pain is through a bad bite. By attending some of my upcoming lectures, you can learn about your role in the diagnosis and treatment of craniofacial pain.

If you have any questions about craniofacial pain, please contact me. Take the next step toward relieving your patients’ pain. I look forward to working with each of you in expanding your dental practice with craniofacial pain services!

Now’s the Time: Reach Out to Your Patients with Blogging

Business AnalyticsI’ve said it before and I will say it again: start blogging NOW! One of the most beneficial and easiest forms of Marketing your Dental Practice is through the availability of a blog. Write once a week, twice a month, or every day – whatever you decide you can do and want to do. By blogging you are establishing yourself and your practice and a thought leader in your industry. In order to gain new patients and show that you are experienced in your area of service, start blogging immediately. Here’s why:

Patients Need Reassurance

Yes, that’s right—patients often need reassurance that you are who you are and know what you’re doing. The availability of a blog helps you to share important information with your patients no matter what time of the day it is. From general services to advanced questions, your blog should be your go-to place for sharing valuable information with your current patients and future patients. A blog is easily searchable through Google, and if you have an established blog with a host of topics and content available, the more patients will be able to find you when they search for a certain topic. You want Google to recognize you as a thought leader, and that is created through advanced content on your website and blog.

Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader

When it comes to your dental office and patients, you want to be known for being a thought leader in your industry. What happens when people know you have experience in specific areas? They go to you for all of their needs. The availability of an educational blog allows you to write about various topics that interest your patients, as well as blogs that answer some of the common questions you are asked at your office. Blogs can also be used to share important information about your practice, announce new services and even introduce a new member to your team. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to your practice. Reach different areas and get your patients in on educating themselves in regards to Dentistry, Dental Sleep Medicine and other services your office offers.

If this doesn’t get you motivated to start your practice’s blog, I don’t know what will! Get your name out there and start sharing educational information with your patients through an information-rich blog—what are you waiting for? Go!

And, if you have any questions about getting your blog up and running, or who can help you in maintaining a well thought out and up-to-date blog, contact me further—I know just who can help!

A Dentist’s Role in Craniofacial Pain & TMD Treatment

We have touched base on sleep apnea and your role as a dentist, but what about craniofacial pain and TMD treatment? As a dentist you hold an important role in both areas. Jaw pain is not just stress, it can be a more problematic than just that. When a patient experiences pain in the jaw and muscles of the face and neck, it might be TMD. If that is the case, as a dentist what is your role?TMJ

Diagnosis

As a dentist it is your duty to identify problems with your patients. If your patient visits your office complaining of jaw pain, face pain or neck pain, it doesn’t just mean they are suffering from stress—it can be a lot more than that. Identifying the sources of the craniofacial or temporomandibular joint pain is important in providing a treatment solution for pain relief. By understanding the source of pain and if it is dental related, you can offer an appropriate solution to eliminate or lessen the discomfort.

Treatment

Often times, oral appliance therapy is just what your patient might need. Treatments will be tailored to each patient’s individual symptoms and contributing factors. It may be difficult to resolve and treatment focuses on management of the symptoms and restoring function. Simple treatment to relieve the discomfort and restore proper functioning is often all that is needed. Typically, a conservative treatment, such as oral appliance therapy, is recommended because it causes no permanent changes in the structure.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on craniofacial pain and TMD for a better understanding of how to properly care for your patients.