Dental Insurance vs. Dental Plan


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right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 27, 2012 - 11:48pm PT
Good question fear.

My dentist and his assistant who does the adjustments to my night guard both say I grind during the day because of "keying" or lock and key or key holing or some such, which indicates sideways grinding and a forensic pattern if you will which shows up in the teeth.

I have never, ever found myself grinding during the day or even clenching. Keep in mind I'm a climber and fairly body aware and I just don't see how I would never at one point or another become aware of it happening.

That said, what I do at night is like a violent clacking. As I wrote upthread I can literally see hatchet marks in my upper splint (night guard) from my lower teeth hitting it while I'm asleep. If I take a nap I always put my splint in; if I forget, I can observe myself clicking my teeth together as I'm falling asleep.

I probably also grind and clench in my sleep, because when I awaken in the morning sometimes I'm holding onto the guard. Clenching.

I only became aware of it because my dentist described the motion and I started looking for it and my wife said she hears it if I fall asleep first. I first heard about this one was 12 years old, but, that being 1972 the dentists apparently didn't really have a program for me and I didn't get re-apprised of the situation until in my 30s.

This thread has been very productive.
Thanks to all who have been participating!

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 27, 2012 - 11:54pm PT
I have a sort of sad/funny story that goes along with my first understanding of periodontal disease in my mouth. I was born with fairly straight teeth and decent gums. Luckily my parents never had to pay an orthodontist for instance.

In my early 30s I was building a small business, working long hours with very low pay and skipped dental for a few years. When I went back in for a cleaning with a new dentist (I had moved to a new state), this young, very pretty, very polite hygienist started out on my teeth and was saying how good everything looked. Then she started doing the depth checks around my gum line and her mood went from bouncy and industrious to one of sad disappointment. It was like she was crushed from what she was learning about the truth of my condition.

The Perio disease was not patently obvious. I had no pain. But it was there all the same.
I felt bad for her. One moment she was merrily doing her job and the next moment she's witnessing a real health hazard in sore need of attendance. Obviously I knew I was in trouble.

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 12:01am PT
... I have even postulated to the many doctors I've seen that bruxism might be at the root of my ongoing arm problems but nobody bites on that one.

Trad climber
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:11am PT
Jim Beck talks about the arm connection. His exam includes watching you walk, doing parachute tests for balance/strength, how you hold your head, determining if the sutures in your skull are loose and pumping CSF or jammed together from excessive tension by your temporalis/masseter muscles, etc.

IT doesn't necessarily mean that your grinding/clenching is causing it, it can mean that you have tooth caused problems that radiate out and meet spinal or posture caused problems and between the two of them you haven't been able to solve anything.

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 12:17am PT
I saw an osteopath who did some craniosacral analysis on me, if that's what you mean by the sutures in the cranium, and said that the night guard wasn't good because it was like putting the gas and the brakes on at the same time per the natural flexion of the sutures (and their interactions with jaw muscles). I know that function is disputed. He wanted me to cut my night guard in half to allow for some natural flexion.

He said my spinal durum was as tense as any he had ever seen.

Of course my dentist said no way and stay way from that quack. From his perspective I understand it because the night guard is continually adjusted to take the strain away from areas where I tend to come down hard. It needs to have lateral torsion to do that job. (If I have that right?).

I went no further with that tact.
I've seen well over 30 doctors from many disciplines and never get any answers on my arm problems.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:19am PT
Looking at the (sort of) bright side, tarbuster's posting again. Even if about challenges of another sort than his usual TRs.

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 12:24am PT
That won't last Anders.
Even with voice control software I still have to use my hands occasionally to do editing, corrections, and manually engage where it just won't work. It doesn't take long at all for that effort to kick out the pain in my radial tunnel or lateral epicondyle (bilateral). I stay away from computers, desk work, writing, cooking and cleaning up after meals, driving and other basic functions like that as much as is possible. I'm really in deep shitt over here.

These occasional trip reports wherein you see me actually climbing are not indicative of my daily experience. Short bursts of activity are okay but sustained fine motor skill activity is absolutely out. To attain any short burst of activity is like a hat trick for me: many days of rest on either side of an hour or two of activity. Believe it.

Maybe my expensive mouth is pointing back to my expensive arms.
Time for some expensive therapy with Dr. Jim Beck it seems. I am not being facetious.
This is not a culture or a planet wherein one can gamely retire at 47 years of age with no savings in hand. (I'm 52 now).
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Nov 28, 2012 - 06:51am PT
Back in 1995 I had work done at the University of Pacific dental school in San Francisco (as my mom had retired and the onset of Alzheimer's).

The first student was a joker, so I insisted on another student, but they said since the treatments were free, I had no choice, but I stood my ground.

I was appointed to Charles H. (his father was a dentist my mom had worked with), he was first in his class at the time. Excellent, though while free, it's a pain to sit there with a dam on your mouth while the student waits for a professor/lecturer/supervisor dentist who may have at least several other students in line.

Same here at Dublin Dental School (part of Trinity College). Free, but long waits for both appointments and also sitting in the chair waiting for a dentist to come supervise the student's work. I had one root canal (endo) that took two students over two terms to finish (it had four canals and the supervising endodontis never showed up), and it is now bugging me and my dentist thinks I will lose it someday. Bummer.


right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
I'm in touch with Dr. Jim Beck's office; spoke with his wife in detail.
They can't see me (are not taking new patients and the distance between would otherwise be a significant hardship for me (that is, beyond a couple of trips and they are not interested in doing just the workup). She's going to ask Jim to give me a reference in the Boulder Denver area.

As you suggested above, yes please read all of my individual posts and you will get a good sense of my history. I don't think there's much more to discuss however. Please e-mail me directly if you see anything out of sorts in what I've said about my condition and treatment history per se. My email is persona "at"

 Thank you both for your professional opinions and attention.
My questions have been well answered. I don't think there's much more to say.

I'd like to talk about your experiences with bruxism along with your general health as it may pertain to that condition, yet all of this Q and A in real-time on the forum is shredding my arms.

(I didn't even get into the chronic hypertrophy of the medial side of my forearms, potentially a case of borderline chronic exertional compartment syndrome, or the way the voice commands required from Dragon NaturallySpeaking exert a sort of repetitive strain on my esophagus, which seems to cross-link with chronic heartburn. In short, my complaints are legion. If you are open to it we should compare notes).
303-258-3455. Not a cell phone, please leave a message and be prepared for phone tag. I may be down in Boulder doing PT for my hips. Call anytime.

Although your debate has been a distraction from the pointed questions in the OP, your position on the matter is sort of the elephant in the room. Thanks.


Darn good job everybody. My arms and my voice need a break.
Let's give it a rest.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 28, 2012 - 01:40pm PT
Elephants have big ass teeth!

WIshing you the best outcome and road to healing


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