”Our dentistry is only as good as the airway is stable.Dr. Michele Williams
Dr. Michele Williams on Creating More Stable Dental Outcomes
This week on Vivos Voices, we visited with Dr. Michele Williams, a skilled dentist and trained Vivos Integrated Provider (VIP).
Dr. Williams started practicing dentistry over 30 years ago, but in the past four years, her focus has shifted to treating sleep and airway disorders as it’s related to dentistry. “Before, it was about mounting models and making sure I had a stable bite,” shared Dr. Williams, “but my bite is only as stable as the airway.”
Oxygen is essential to life. We need oxygen for every system in our body. Without proper saturation, it can lead to many signs and symptoms, such as depression, high blood pressure, moodiness, exhaustion, and ultimately, death. Each of our organs and organ systems is influenced by a stable, healthy airway. And an unhealthy airway manifests in our overall health and wellness. “To be able to enhance the quality of life and get to a root cause, I think you’re going to have more stable dental outcomes. Our dentistry is only as good as the airway is stable.”
Picture this: A patient has a broken molar. They’ve ground it down in their sleep, as grinding and clenching are the body’s natural response to being unable to breathe. The dentist repairs it, but the patient breaks the crown. Over and over, the patient has the tooth repaired and blames the dentist for poor dentistry. But we’re setting ourselves up for failure: The root issue, an unhealthy airway, remains, and so too will the problem. By treating the root cause of the problem, we ensure an overall optimal outcome. “I know firsthand how it feels [to sleep better with a Vivos device] and how much better I feel with it in. I’m dreaming more.”
“I’m not going to say that it’s easy, especially when you’re learning something new, but they gave me the confidence to go forward with something so complex. It makes me want to keep practicing for another 30 years.”
I’m Dr. Michele Williams. I own Williams Dental Wellness, and I’ve owned that, uh, niche practice for about four years. And I’ve been practicing 30 plus years. I start with looking at the airway first now, when before it was about mounting models and making sure I had a stable bite. But my bite is only as stable as the airway. We need oxygen for every system in our body, you know. You can have depression. You can have high blood pressure. All of those are related to a good, healthy airway. To be able to enhance the quality of life and get to a root cause, I think you’re going to have more stable dental outcomes. You know, because I’ve, I’ve trained with some of the best in dentistry with Dawson and Panky and Dr. Eubank and all of those great clinicians. But our dentistry is only as good as the airway is stable because those patients can break those teeth down. I had only used maybe one or two mad appliances, mandibular advancement devices. Uh, and I used one myself, and I had challenges with it with my joint getting out of alignment. And it worked for about five years, and then I started to have bite problems. I’m my own, um, patient as well. I have a mild form of sleep apnea that I’m treating with the appliance as well. So, I know firsthand how it feels and how much better I feel with it in. I’m dreaming more, you know, sleeping better. They’re absolutely amazing. It gave me comfort in knowing that I have someone to, that I can go to at any time, and they always have an answer for me, or they can direct me to a clinical advisor that we can run through the challenges together. I’m not going to say that it’s easy, especially when you’re learning something new. They gave me the confidence to go forward with something so complex. And so they really make it easy. It makes me want to keep practicing another 30 years when I was really ready to just say forget it and let’s go do something else. So I would say they changed my life.