Always About Smiles

Dr. Thomas Lambert Caters to Specialized Dental Needs of Musicians

Dr. Lambert has more than twenty years experience in the treatment of embouchure, facial pain and dental problems of musicians. An accomplished musician for over thirty years, he serves as principal clarinet in the American Legion Concert Band of Bethlehem, Easton Municipal Concert Band and The Lehigh Valley Italian-American Band.


Bethlehem, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/16/2014 -- Combining his knowledge of wind instrument playing and dentistry allows Dr. Lambert to offer a service that simply cannot be found in other dental practices. Musicians have very specialized needs when they use their mouths to play a musical instrument. The smallest change in a bite, tooth or jaw position, tooth shape, or tongue movement can significantly impact how a musician can play, and the dentist must understand and pay special attention to these problems. A trumpet player with a chipped front tooth can have the tooth restored with composite bonding to make it look great from a cosmetic standpoint but might ruin his playing career. A horn player may get beautiful porcelain veneers that may add half a millimeter to the length of the teeth but may wipe out the musician’s ability to play really high notes in his upper range. Even wind players with removable dentures may experience problems with range, sound quality, and air pressure or airflow issues into their horn.

Music and dentistry blend together when the most important part of a musician’s life, called the embouchure (the position and use of the lips, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument), is affected in the ability to perform due to changes in the mouth. It is important for musicians to discuss any proposed dental treatment to determine the best way to correct problems without changing the embouchure.

Dr. Lambert also encourages musicians to bring their instrument to the dental office to demonstrate the way they play their instruments. In the event of a dental emergency, it is helpful to have an existing record of your teeth size, shape, position in the jaw, and bite in order to restore your mouth to pre-accident condition.

Most dentists cannot appreciate the anxiety woodwind or brass players have when a dental procedure might change their embouchure. Dr. Lambert strives to understand the needs of each musician he treats. Changes are made gradually and made reversible; especially for the front teeth. Dental bonding with tooth-colored plastic or resin material can be added to change teeth contours or length. For larger restorative cases, a musician will get temporary crowns or caps, letting them play their instruments with the temporaries to work toward regaining their normal playing embouchure. Dr. Lambert encourages his musicians to bring their horns to the office. There isn’t a better way to make adjustments than having the patient play to evaluate these changes.

If you are a musician looking for a dentist that knows and understands the dental needs of musicians, call Dr. Lambert at 610-868-9928. Since 1986 he has clocked more than 2,600 hours of advanced training in various dental procedures. Dr. Lambert established his current family practice in his hometown, Bethlehem, in 1988.