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Neuromuscular Dentistry       

Remember this chair?

I’m back in the dentist’s chair and am told my bite is all over the place – in fact, even I can’t seem to find my jaw position, it changes with every attempt. I didn’t realise I had a problem – I was used to compensating for my missing and non effective teeth. I am told that Neuromuscular Dentistry is what I need. I trust my Dentist and decide that he knows best.

 “What Exactly Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?”

My Dentist, Dr Fred Calavassy from Dental Excellence Castle Hill explains; “To put it simply, neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ. While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard tissues and the soft tissues, muscles and nerves. Neuromuscular dentists understand that your hard and soft tissues have a complex relationship and work to make that relationship a harmonious one. Neuromuscular dentists understand the necessity for including the power source (muscles) and the controls (nerves) which create the movement, pressures, and function of the mouth”.

When the jaw is misaligned, both the hard and soft tissues are affected and many physiological problems can result, such as headaches, jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain, tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint. In a number of cases, these symptoms are the result of TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) or MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction).

TMJ / TMD is a chronic degenerative disease that often takes years to develop. TMJ affects millions of people. People who suffer from TMJ have an imbalance in the jaw-to-skull relationship, which is caused by a bad bite (malocclusion).

Neuromuscular Dentistry serves to correct the bite and re-align the jaw.

My Treatment

I’m ushered to a quiet room (away from those chilling sounds of the drill) and am placed on an extremely comfortable massage chair. Fred needs to determine the optimal position of my jaw by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, so he can eventually reposition the jaw to achieve those exact measurements.

Using computerised equipment, Fred measures and studies the pattern of my jaw opening and closing through its full range of motion and in three dimensions.

The computer can also document the precise point at which my jaw is being held in relation to my upper teeth and can measure the activity of the key muscles that control my jaw- both in function and at rest

Thankfully, the tests are non-invasive - there are no injections, there is no pain.

My tests included:

- Computerised Mandibular Scanning, which tracked the movement of my jaw in three dimensions.

SEMG - Surface Electromyography which monitored my major muscle groups which are responsible for movement of my jaw. This technology is very similar to an ECG, which is used by cardiologists to determine the health of your heart.

ESG - Electrosonography which involved sensors that detected joint sound vibrations, as I opened and closed my mouth and transmitted the sound and data to the computer.

I was also connected to the Myomonitor. The myomonitor is an ultra low frequency TENS (Transcutaneaous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit, which painlessly exercised my facial and jaw muscles. It was a strange sensation it was like experiencing facial tics or twitches in various locations on the face and neck.

Again, there was no pain and surprisingly to me, I felt quite relaxed.

This exercise overcomes the 'programming' of my muscles and allows them to achieve a truly relaxed state. After a couple or so hours, my results were recorded and stored on the computer. Fred now has the data to restore my jaw to the optimal position to provide improved function and longer lasting dental restorations.

In the next few weeks I will be fitted with a Neuromuscular Orthotic to align my jaw to the determined neuromuscular position.

Don't worry... I am exagerating the sensation just a little!

If you would like to know more - go to www.dentalexcellence.com.au

Read my next Installment - Preparation For my New Smile...click

Or start at the begining of my Smile-Makeover -
 The Dentist Chair...click

Lana ! | Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink | back to top


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Posted: 17-Nov-2012 12:24 AM | Maybelle |
Neuromuscular Dentistry is the best treatment modality of dentistry that focuses on correcting the physiologic "misalignment" of the jaw at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). I was looking for the related information. Thanks a lot it is very useful for me.

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