Neuromuscular Orthotic - Long Term
An objective in treating TMJ disorders is for each patient to have a comfortable, stable neuromuscular occlusion, or a ‘proper bite.’ A proper bite results when the upper and lower jaws are synchronized and fit together correctly, without unnecessary stresses. When the jaw and teeth are out of alignment, unnecessary stresses are exerted on the jaw joints and muscles which can lead to TMJ disorders.
One of the first steps in long-term TMJ treatment is to stabilize the patient’s bite. Following short-term muscle relaxation, a temporary dental orthotic is used to maintain the bite and reduce TMJ symptoms. These orthotics are designed for 24 hours use and results in improved bite, relief of excess pressures, and reduced damage from bruxism (teeth grinding).
At Village Park Family Dental we use the latest and most up to date concepts for non-surgical approaches to TMJ joint positioning; concepts taught at the Las Vegas Institute. Using these approaches result in the best possible comfort levels for the patient and helps eliminates pain and symptoms related to improper functioning of the TMJ joint.
With this method, a neuromuscular orthotic is used by the patient for several months to stabilize the joint. The orthotic decompresses the joint and improves joint comfort. Once this decompression is achieved, an appliance and orthodontics braces are introduced to locate the jaw joint into a permanent and comfortable position.
The Las Vegas Institute of Advance Dental Studies is a leader in teaching post graduate dental technologies. According to the LVI website the institution is ‘dedicated to the progress of the dental profession through the integration of comprehensive diagnosis, contemporary techniques, and technology.’ Village Park Family Dental adheres to the principles of LVI.
Full Bite Reconstruction
Once temporary measures have improved the patient’s symptoms, a full bite dental reconstruction plan can be put into place. Using a combination of crowns, veneers, and other reconstructive steps, the patient’s mouth and teeth can be positioned to both eliminate TMJ problems and give the patient a cosmetically beautiful smile. Requirements for each patient will be different and will be determined through evaluation by the dentist in consultation with other professionals.
Reconstruction can take several forms. In most cases, full mouth reconstruction involves repairing existing cavities, replacing old veneers, crowns, or fillings, and ensuring improvement to each tooth. In this case, the bite and jaw positioning remains substantially the same as before. In addition to correcting the appearance of each tooth, if the jaw is repositioned, additional benefits are gained in both appearance and reduction of TMJ issues.
An important factor that can help reduce or eliminate symptoms of TMJ disorder is for the patient’s upper and lower teeth to fit together neatly and comfortably. When the patient’s mouth is in a relaxed, natural position, the teeth should meet evenly all around. To accomplish a smooth and exact fit, the teeth’s surfaces are gently shaped and ground to improve the patient’s bite and eliminate stress on both individual teeth and the jaw’s muscles and joints.
An incorrect bite can result in a number of associated problems including muscle tension headaches, teeth grinding or clenching, excessive tooth wear or chipping, and, even, loose teeth. To address these problems, the dentist carefully adjusts the surfaces of the teeth to allow them to meet in an even and natural manner. The outcome is a balance between the TMJ joint, the jaw muscles, and the teeth contacts. Many TMJ symptoms can be eliminated or relieved by completing this procedure.
The dentists at Village Park Dental Center are specialists in diagnosing and treating all TMJ related issues. If you believe you suffer from TMJ disorder symptoms or for any other dental health management needs for yourself or your family, call our offices to schedule an appointment. You’ll be glad you did: 281-376-4444.