Yearly Archives: 2014

Restore Your Smile With Comfort & Ease

Restore Your Smile With Comfort & Ease

Watch this video or read the transcript below to see how Dr. Lebowitz was able to restore this patient’s smile back to eating and talking with comfort. Call 602.264.2905 today for your restorative dentistry!

Steve Gigous (Patient) : “I was just driving down the road, next thing I know I was getting pulled out of the trunk. They thought I was dead, they were covering my face.”

Narrator: “It was a usual day on the job, when a tire blew, flipping the semi, Steve Gigous was driving, shattering his face and body. He was in a coma for 10 days.

Dr. Lebowitz: “He was on feeding tubes. He could not brush, and decay became ramped. The teeth become the last thing they worry about. You don’t die from your teeth, but from the other injuries you could.”

Narrator: “Gigous pulled through and finally saw Dr. Michael Lebowitz’s care, for his teeth, but being scared of going to the dentist all his life, his mouth was neglected long before the accident.”

Dr. Lebowitz: “He needed someone to come and manage in order to get him comfortable and healthy again.”

Steve Gigous:  “When I was in the navy they made me visit the dentist but ever since then I just don’t like going to the dentist because they always hurt and I’m always in a lot of pain.  With Dr. Lebowitz it was nothing. He pulled five teeth and before I even knew it, he was done. “

Dr. Lebowitz: “We cleaned up his decay, and removed his broken teeth. Whether the parts were related to the injury or not related to the injury, there was more treatment in just gaining trust and gaining that relationship to actually accomplish the treatment, then the treatment itself.”

Steve Gigous: “I can eat better now. My jaw doesn’t hurt anymore. I can open my mouth all the way again.”

Narrator: “Feeling blessed to be alive, now it’s the little things that give Gigous the most joy.”

Steve Gigous: “Eating peanuts when I’m out watching the baseball game”

What Is Sleep Apnea Dentistry?

sleep apneaIt’s a fact that many people have trouble sleeping. But did you know it can be life-threatening when the reason for sleeping troubles is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)? People with OSA have a disorder that causes them to stop breathing during their sleep. This could happen anywhere from few times to a hundred times, and can last as long as 10 seconds, making OSA extremely dangerous.

According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Fortunately, dentists can actually help these people thanks to sleep apnea dentistry.  But it starts with a diagnosis.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

One of the biggest problems of OSA is that the majority of people don’t even know they have it. That’s because they brush off the symptoms as normal. Here are some of them:

•           Snoring

•           Daytime drowsiness

•           Memory loss and headaches

•           Chronic fatigue

•           Depression and irritability

•           Loss of focus at work

A consultation with Lebowitz Dental will help identify whether these problems may be related to obstructive sleep apnea. The dentist can then treat OSA via a variety of oral appliances.

Sleep Apnea Dentistry


Dr. Lebowitz can fit you in a sleep apnea appliance such as this one to get you sleeping again.

Sleep apnea dentistry involves oral appliances designed to be worn during sleep to improve airflow. There are two main types of oral appliances, but both help open the airway:

            •           Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) – The most common device used, this is similar to a mouthguard and adjusts the jaw to keep the airway open.

            •           Tongue Retraining Device (TRD) – This device keeps the airway open by holding the tongue in place.

To get one of these devices, our office will perform an examination and consultation, determine which device is the most appropriate for the specific patient, customize the device for proper fit and provide follow-up care and advice.

Sleep Apnea Dentistry has become the best solution to OSA. If you think you might be at risk, schedule a visit with us today.



Sleep Apnea Dental Appliances

Lebowitz Dental can get you restful sleep with a Modified Herbst™ Sleep Appliance.

Lebowitz Dental can help you get restful sleep with a Modified Herbst™ Sleep Apnea device.

If you have sleep apnea – or know someone who does – you know the frustrations and risks associated with getting restful sleep and snoring. But dealing with a clunky Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine can be complicated and inconvenient. You have to deal with hoses, monitor air pressure and hope the mask doesn’t leak. Plus, it’s often hard to fall asleep. Isn’t there a better way?

Fortunately there is. In fact, there are more than 80 different oral devices to treat sleep apnea and snoring, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. These sleep apnea appliances are often smaller, simpler and easier to wear than CPAP machines, but just as effective at fighting sleep apnea.

Herbst™ Sleep Apnea device.

Herbst™ Sleep Apnea device fits comfortably while you sleep.

The two main types are tongue-retaining appliances and mandibular repositioning appliances and both are effective at clearing the airway:
• Tongue-Retaining Appliances: Featuring a soft material that can be customized for any mouth, tongue-retaining appliances focus on keeping the tongue forward and out of the airway. It accomplishes this with a suction compartment that fits around the tongue and is about the same size as a mouthguard.
• Mandibular Repositioning Appliances: These devices can also be custom-made and treat sleep apnea by repositioning the lower jaw to clear the airway. They have a snug but comfortable fit and feature an adjustable mechanism to give each mouth a unique position. One of the most popular of these devices is the Modified Herbst™ Sleep Appliance, which is smaller than most devices and has a long lifespan. The Modified Herbst is also super-versatile, allowing jaw movement in all directions and letting you do things like take medications, use inhalers and even talk.

According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, 25 to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients can’t comply with or tolerate CPAP machines and depend on these types of oral devices.

Schedule a complimentary sleep apnea consultation with Lebowitz Dental today.

What Causes TMJ Pain?

TMJdentistIf you’ve heard anything about a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you likely know it involves your jaw and it involves a lot of pain. It’s actually a bit more complex than that, as there are a wide variety of common TMJ problems. And while the disorder can develop naturally over time, did you know the vast majority of TMJ disorders are caused by trauma?

There are two basic forms of trauma that contribute to TMJ disorders: minor trauma that happens repeatedly over time and major trauma that is usually the result of an accident or injury. If you’re aware of these types of trauma that can cause TMJ, you can seek treatment earlier or even avoid it altogether.

Minor Trauma Causes of TMJ

TMJ disorders can develop by themselves due to certain habits or natural degeneration. Here are some examples of minor trauma that may contribute to TMJ disorders:
• Habitually clenching or grinding your teeth
• Participating in contact sports such as football, basketball or hockey
• Developing a form of arthritis
• Tension due to stress
Many of these forms of minor trauma involve a lot of tightening and clenching of the muscles, which leads to fatigue and overworking them. All increase the possibility of TMJ disc erosion or dislocation, which leads to a TMJ disorder.

Major Trauma Causes of TMJ

Major trauma is the more unexpected cause of TMJ disorders and isn’t as preventable. But recognizing it can help you seek treatment as early as possible. Here are some examples of major trauma that may contribute to TMJ disorders:
• Sports injuries, such as a tackle to the head in football or an elbow to the face in basketball
• Automobile accidents, specifically ones that involve an impact to the head
• Some roller coasters or other activities with sudden changes in speed that cause whiplash
• Anything else involving a strong blow to the head
There is likely more than one factor involved in developing a TMJ disorder, so your risk may be higher if you’ve experienced multiple forms of minor or major trauma.

If you’d like suggestions on how to avoid TMJ disorder causes – or if you think you might have already developed it and would like treatment – schedule a consultation with Lebowitz Dental today.

Avoid Surgery for TMJ Pain

If you have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you may be hesitant to address it, despite chronic pain and jaw problems. Surgery is not the only option thanks to advances in TMJ dentistry. You can actually effectively treat TMJ disorders without surgery by simply visiting Lebowitz Dental.

In general, you can avoid some symptoms of TMJ disorders by doing things like taking medication, reducing stress, eating soft foods and applying hot and cold packs. But to permanently treat TMJ, you’ll likely need to do more.

Here are some of the non-invasive ways Lebowitz Dental can treat your TMJ disorder:
• Corrective dentistry – TMJ disorders may be often caused by an improper bite, so ensuring yours is normal helps immensely. Corrective dentistry that effectively treats TMJ disorders includes crowns, bridges, braces and even reshaping the teeth to remove interferences that affect the bite. There are various ways to correct your bite and ultimately help correct your TMJ disorder.
• Bite guards – Usually worn at night, these devices fit over your lower and upper teeth to prevent them from coming together. This is because many people with TMJ disorders tend to clench or grind their teeth, which causes problems. Bite guards also help align your bite. The best thing about visiting a dentist for your bite guard is that they can customize one to fit your mouth’s specific needs.
• Oral splints – Similar to bite guards, oral splints are worn all the time. They also align your upper and lower jaw while reducing muscle fatigue and improving your joint health and mouth posture. Your dentist can create a customized oral splint as well, making this a low-risk, reversible option that doesn’t require surgery.
•Physical therapy/counseling – If your dentist diagnoses you with a TMJ disorder, they may advise physical therapy or counseling in addition to an oral device or corrective dentistry. This reduces stress and teaches you exercises and habits that help reduce pain and other symptoms.

Surgery unfortunately is the only option for a select few, but it’s very rare. Most can receive treatment for TMJ disorders with the options listed above.

Schedule a consultation with Lebowitz Dental and enjoy eating, talking and chewing again!

Faster Braces With PROPEL Orthodontics

As an adult, you’re probably so busy that a perfect smile is low on your list of priorities. Who has time to spend months or even years in braces? Fortunately, there is now an innovative orthodontic procedure that can speed up time in adult braces by 30, 40 or even 50%! It’s called PROPEL orthodontics and involves a simple three-step procedure that can be done at the dental office in mere minutes.

How Does PROPEL Ortho Work?
PROPEL uses a revolutionary device that is ready to use, sterile and disposable. Any orthodontist can use it with minimal training and it doesn’t cause any pain for the patient. Basically, the device stimulates the bone in your mouth to produce an inflammatory response that accelerates the tooth movement associated with orthodontic treatments.
Specifically, the procedure – called Alveocentesis™ – involves adjusting the device’s depth dial to the desired tip depth to micro-invasively stimulate the bone. Tissue is kept taught the whole time and covers the tip, while the LED stop indicator light illuminates to prevent the tip from penetrating deeper than needed. That means your dentist or orthodontist can provide quicker, more accurate results.

Features and Benefits of PROPEL Ortho
So why is Propel orthodontics better than traditional orthodontic methods? It’s all about the patented device, which has a variety of innovative features to benefit both the patient and the dentist. Here are some of them:
• LED Depth Stop Indicator – this lights up when the set depth length is reached, minimizing or eliminating errors.
• Micro edge with a patented pitch – for extra precision.
• Surgical steel construction – state-of-the-art, professional design.
• Packaged and reusable – so you have peace of mind each procedure has maximum efficiency.
• Ergonomic design – lets your dentist have ultimate control.

These are just a few of the innovative features Propel ortho offers. Schedule a consultation with Lebowitz Dental today to find out if Propel can get you the smile you deserve!

FAA Announces New Sleep Apnea Policy

sleep apnea policyMost people don’t mind when another person nods off during a plane trip… as long as that person isn’t the pilot. That’s a feeling shared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as they announced a new policy requiring pilots to participate in mandatory testing for obstructive sleep apnea going forward.

The policy introduces an assortment of screening requirements and evaluations to ensure FAA pilots don’t suffer from the sleep disorder. As a trained pilot and dentist, Dr. Lebowitz understands the importance of treating sleep apnea before you get in a plane.

Since more than half of people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are overweight, pilots with a BMI of 40 or greater are required to participate in a sleep study and evaluation from a board-certified sleep specialist. If they don’t, they risk disqualification.

This brings to light a couple great questions for the rest of us: 1, how do I know if I have sleep apnea?; and 2, how can I treat it?

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
If you don’t already know, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing is interrupted during sleep. This causes fatigue, stress and increases the potential for problematic conditions like high blood pressure and heart failure. It also increases the risk for vehicle accidents, which is why the FAA is moving forward with their policy.
How do you know if you have sleep apnea?

A consultation with Lebowitz Dental is the best way, but here are some common symptoms:
• Excessive sleepiness and lack of energy during the day
• Loud or chronic snoring at night
• Waking up with a dry mouth or throat
• Suddenly waking up during the night with a choking sensation
• Recurring insomnia

Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be addressed by doing things like losing weight, lowering your alcohol intake and avoiding sleeping on your back. But the best way is to visit your dentist for a dental device consultation. These oral devices are design to keep your airways open during sleep and eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Dentists are also experienced and trained to address sleep apnea, so they’re the best source for addressing sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea pilots and other patients can address obstructive sleep apnea with a visit to the Lebowitz Dental. If you think you have sleep apnea, schedule a consultation today!

Symptoms of TMJ

Do you have difficulty sleeping? Chronic headaches or facial pain? Ringing in the ears? It may be because of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Often misdiagnosed as a toothache, gum disease, arthritis, migraines or sinus problems, TMJ disorders can cause a wide variety of painful issues for years and years.

Lebowitz Dental can determine whether someone has problematic TMJ signs, but it’s helpful to keep track of symptoms to make a more accurate diagnosis. Without it, you may develop problems because of improper treatment.

General Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
The majority of those with TMJ disorders are between the ages of 20 and 40 and experience similar signs and symptoms. Here are some of the most common:
• Pain or trouble chewing, swallowing or speaking
• Limited ability to open your mouth very wide
• Constant feeling of being tired or stressed
• Poor head or neck posture
• Clicking, grating or popping sound in your jaw
• Pain behind your eyes or around your temple
• Ringing in the ears
• Trouble sleeping/insomnia
Dental Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
Since TMJ disorders center on the jaw and are usually treated by dentists, they can also be identified by looking at your teeth. Here are TMJ disorder signs and symptoms you’ll find in your mouth:
• A bite that is uncomfortable or doesn’t feel aligned
• Crooked or crowded teeth
• Your front teeth are higher than your back teeth
• Signs of wear in unnatural places
• Your tongue tends to thrust in an unusual manner

Overall, a big sign that you may have a TMJ disorder is that other treatments aren’t effective. According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, 1 in 27 Americans experience these symptoms daily, which is why they’re often misdiagnosed as other common problems.

If you think you may be affected by a TMJ disorder, start noting your symptoms and schedule an evaluation and consultation at Lebowitz Dental today.

Facial Trauma – What You Need to Know

Any injury involves some level of trauma. When it comes to your face and mouth, however, it’s different. Dental trauma (or facial trauma) can be anything from a tooth fracture or broken tooth to teeth that are completely knocked out of the mouth. Athletes and people in the military tend to be at the highest risk for facial trauma. Although car wrecks and high-risk employment can often lead to dental trauma to the facial area.

Watch how one patient recovered from facial trauma with Dr. Lebowitz’s help:

Often, a trip to the emergency room is required for facial trauma and there is a lot of pain. But there are certain ways to treat (and even prevent) facial trauma so you have as little pain and/or problems as possible.

Treating Facial Trauma
Facial trauma can be the result of a one-time event like an accident, or could develop over time from something like a cavity. Either way, if your tooth is fractured, broken or lost, it’s important to act quickly. Here are some steps you should take when dealing with facial trauma:
1. Determine whether you or the person with facial trauma is light-headed, dizzy or unconscious. This may mean the injury is more severe and you should call 911 immediately.
2. Identify the type of facial trauma.
3. For lost teeth, rinse them with water and immediately re-plant them in their original socket by holding them in place until you get to the dentist or emergency room.
The general consensus is that you have 40 minutes or less to successfully re-plant a healthy permanent tooth. But the best way to treat facial trauma is to prevent it completely.
Preventing Facial Trauma
As mentioned before, sports are the riskiest area for facial trauma. That’s why organizations like the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) urge athletes to “always wear protective head gear for sports.” This includes helmets, masks, mouthguards and more. The latter is actually very easy for Dr. Lebowitz to customize so you get the best protection.
Automobile accidents are another risky area, so preventing facial trauma should be another reason you always wear your seatbelt. Finally, maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding chewing hard objects will help your teeth stay strong and reduce the risk of tooth fractures.
Knowing how to treat and prevent facial trauma is invaluable. If you have any additional questions about dental trauma, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lebowitz today!