Welcome to Dr. Maribel M. Vann's blog.

Dr. Vann is a general and cosmetic dentist with over thirty years of experience currently practicing in the Northern Virginia area. Dr. Vann's practice is centered on the oral-systemic connection and oral bacteria assessments to help patients know the current level of the health of their mouths.
Dr. Vann also treats TMJ disorders with the Advance Lightwire Functional Appliances (ALF). 

The Relationship of Jaw Misalignment and Cranial Motion

For many years osteopathic literature has reported the existence of a rhythmic movement of the skull. This movement, occurring at rate of 8-12 times per minute persists throughout life. It is considered to be a vital life force required for the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. 
Cranial movement is constant, but can be restricted by the occurrence of various patterns of jaw misalignment. There are seven types of jaw misalignment. Orthodontic diagnosis is currently centered in the Angle Classification system supplemented by soft tissue behavior analysis, temporomandibular joint evaluation and especially by use of the side view skull x-ray. 
By adding the cranial pattern description as a diagnostic method the identification and understanding of the distorted bite fit becomes much more refined and provides clarity in recognizing the underlying cause of the distorted bite fit.
The different types of jaw misalignment can be treated by the Advance Lightwire Functional (ALF) appliances.  

Sleep Apnea

Treatment of sleep apnea is usually done with a C-Pap machine. Another treatment for sleep apnea is a mandibular re-positioning appliance, which temporarily moves the mandible (lower jaw) forward during sleep. Both treatments do not take care of the root cause of sleep apnea. The x-ray shows a very narrow airway space measuring only 3mm wide. Normal airway space is between 12 to 15mm wide.

This patient's problem is her maxilla (upper jaw) is very pushed back towards the spine, which gives her a very narrow airway space.

Treatment with the Advance Lightwire Functional (ALF) appliance is a permanent solution to this problem. The ALF will move the maxilla forward which would open up the airway space, eliminating the sleep apnea. 

Oral Bacteria Microscope Assessment

Did you know that it is possible to know if you have the most deadly bacteria in your mouth? With the use of a Phase Contrast Video Microscope, Dr. Vann is able to view the different types of bacteria present in your mouth.
When you come in for your teeth cleaning, Dr. Vann will take a pain-free plaque sample from under your gums and put it on a slide to view on the microscope. Dr. Vann will discuss with you the findings and how you can eliminate them.

There are certain bacteria linked to heart disease and stroke, specifically spirochetes, gliding rods, amoeba, and trichomonad. If Dr. Vann discovers these bacteria are present in your mouth, then she would recommend a home-care regiment specifically designed for the patient. Spirochetes are not easy to get rid of and can be passed along from person to person.
You can see the spirochetes attacking a white blood cell in the middle of the screen: