By Andrea – Dental Hygienist, Dentistry at Clarkson Village
Dr Hanna Lo and I attended a seminar entitled “Advanced Functional dentistry – The Power of Physiologic Based Occlusion”.
It was presented by the prestigious Las Vegas Institute, a leading education centre for advanced dental treatment.
We found this seminar enlightening and very interesting. We learned specifically about neuromuscular dentistry and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).
What is Temporomandibular Disorder
TMD is characterized by conditions that affect the jaw joints, facial, chewing muscles and nerves in the head and neck.
People who suffer from TMD may experience the following:
- Ringing in the ear or “Tinnitus”
- Headaches or migraines
- Facial or neck pain
- Clicking and or popping in the jaw joints
Teeth contain sensitive nerves. And the body will compromise the functions of chewing muscles and jaw joints to find an effective chewing position. This is to alleviate pain which over time may lead to chronic head and neck pain and TMD lead to altered bite.
How NeuroMuscular Dentistry Can Help
Neuromuscular dentistry looks for the ideal alignment of the jaw, and chewing muscles to disperse bite forces evenly as to not cause strain or pain.
This is accomplished through painless electrical muscle stimulation and specialized computer software which analyses muscle activity and brings the muscles to a relaxed state, or “physiologic rest position”. Once this is accomplished, a mold of the teeth is taken to determine the ideal jaw position.
From here, a temporary custom orthotic is fabricated. This is similar to a sports guard but the main difference is the orthotic has a tooth anatomy and you wear it all day- you may even eat with it. This functional splint helps to stabilize the jaw in its new position.
Once pain symptoms subside and your jaw is accustomed to the new position, you are ready to move into a permanent restorative phase which may include onlays, crowns, or veneers.