Too often, dental care is treated like it’s optional—but for many people, it’s the only real option they have to identify and resolve chronic pain. Medically necessary dental services are specifically designed to prevent disease, infection, and orofacial pain, a general term for any pain felt in the mouth, jaw, and face. A qualified dentist can provide these types of services, and they may even be covered by your medical insurance provider.
Contrary to some of the common misconceptions and the illogical 150-year divide between medicine and dentistry, medically necessary dental services are important for a number of reasons. What many people don’t realize is that common issues such as chronic migraines, headaches, neck pain, tinnitus, and even vertigo can be caused by imbalances in the jaw and in the network of nerves that run through the neck, face, and head.
That’s where medical dental services come in. A few of the reasons why they’re important include:
They identify orofacial problems
Medically necessary dentistry services are an opportunity for dentists to identify problems related to a patient’s bite, jaw, and/or range of motion. Issues with range of motion can cause imbalances and chronic pain—not to mention that they can lead to additional, more complex problems for patients down the road.
A proper diagnosis before receiving any treatment is essential because this helps your dentist understand the exact cause of any pain or issues you may be having. Identifying orofacial problems is the first step toward correcting and preventing them. Without medically necessary dental care, you could still be stuck in the dark, searching for the “why” behind your pain symptoms.
They help prevent chronic pain.
For patients who are suffering from chronic orofacial pain, this type of dental care is not only necessary, but also completely life-changing. That’s because in many cases, dental care can help prevent the chronic pain that’s caused by untreated abnormal muscle tension, bite imbalances, migraines, tinnitus, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
There are effective, non-invasive, pain-free treatment options that don’t involve medication. For example, minor adjustments, trigger point manipulation techniques, ultrasounds, and cold laser treatments are all drug-free approaches that can provide patients with much-needed relief and help them start living their lives free of pain and discomfort.
They treat head and neck issues at their core.
Issues related to the head and/or neck, such as migraines and neck pain, are almost always treated with medication, which doesn’t truly address the underlying issue to help correct it. Although over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers may be temporarily effective, they’re not an ideal long-term solution. They also come with a wide range of dangerous and unpleasant side effects—meaning they probably cause more problems than they solve.
On the flip side, medically necessary dental services make it possible for dentists to assess and treat these issues in a more holistic manner. Rather than simply treating the symptoms, these services treat the real problem—whatever the underlying reason is for a patient’s chronic pain.
These are just a few of the reasons why medically necessary dentistry services are of great importance. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, there are many benefits to exploring these services to help find the root cause, provide relief from pain, and treat any issues with the head and neck. And they may even be covered by your insurance, allowing you to save money you might otherwise spend on expensive medication.
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