While traditional dentistry focuses on the teeth, Neuromuscular dentistry incorporates the three factors that effect occlusion: the teeth, the muscles and the jaw joint position.
Dr. Stante’s office is one of very few with the specialized training and equipment to utilize the sophisticated computerized diagnostics and instrumentation to record and interpret joint sounds (sonography), muscle activity (electromyography or EMG), jaw movement (computerized mandibular scanning or CMS) and utilize TENS (transcutaneous neural stimulation) for TMD therapy. Combined with Tomography (specialized jaw joint x-ray) the above information will allow Dr. Stante to find the most relaxed position for the jaw to allow healing of the TMJ complex.
A neuromuscular appliance called an Orthotic is significantly different from a traditionally fabricated dental splint or over the counter purchased night guard. A splint or guard is made from an impression of your teeth taken at your current bite known as your habitual occlusion and only addresses one dimension of your jaw position. A neuromuscular appliance is a bite repositioning appliance that is fabricated only after your muscles have been relaxed using the physical therapy healing principals of TENS and confirmed with EMG measurements to insure your jaw is in a position to promote healing. This appliance adjusts for all six dimensions of your bite.
When your bite is out of alignment, it’s not uncommon for a variety of other problems to arise. There’s a good chance that our experience in neuromuscular dentistry can help you if you suffer from:
- Headaches or migraines
- Pain in the face or jaw
- Abnormal tooth wear or loss of enamel at the gum line
- A jaw that clicks or pops
- Worn, chipped or cracked teeth
- Neck, shoulder or back pain, or unexplained ear pain
If you are experience one or more of these symptoms, Dr. Stante will use the latest in diagnostic technology to determine if we can improve the comfort and function of your bite.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER. We’ve relieved this type of pain for many people just like you. Don’t tolerate the pain any longer… neuromuscular dentistry may be the solution you’ve been waiting for.
Are you a candidate for Neuromuscular Treatment?
There are always options for you to choose from when deciding on dental treatment. After your initial evaluation, we will discuss your options with you. If you are considering major dental procedures or if you suffer head/neck pain or other “TMJ” symptoms, establishing a precise occlusion becomes very important. This is when choosing neuromuscular diagnostic techniques can have a positive and long-term impact on the outcome of treatment. Neuromuscular studies give us added insight into what is going on behind just the appearance of your smile, addressing issues that affect your overall health and well being.
Beyond the appearance of a smile.
The way that your upper and lower teeth come together (your bite or occlusion) is part of a system of teeth, muscles and joints. If your teeth do not fit together properly (misaligned bite), the muscles and joints accommodate or work to get them together.
A misaligned bite often leads to muscles that are overworked when they should be relaxed, leading to various painful conditions.
Neuromuscular dentistry considers the entire system that controls the positioning and function of your jaw.
As previously mentioned, Dr. Stante seeks to establish a jaw position based on a harmonious relationship of the three main factors affecting occlusion — the teeth, muscles and jaw joints. The resulting jaw position if called the neuromuscular bite.
How is it performed?
Dr. Stante may be considering different types of dental treatment to improve your smile, to correct a misaligned bite or to relieve a painful condition. To provide you with an optimum bite that gives you a beautiful smile as well as healthy muscles and joints, she will evaluate and study the complex relationship between your teeth, jaw joints and muscles. Dr. Stante will then apply neuromuscular principles to build your bite.
Neuromuscular treatment begins by relaxing the muscles around the jaw with the use of a TENS device. This is a battery operated electrical muscle stimulator that delivers mild electrical stimulus to the muscles of the facial/jaw area and possibly the neck and shoulder area to “exercise” these muscles and cause them to relax.
Dr. Stante may also perform tests using computerized technology that provide very detailed information about the status of your muscles and joints. These tests give Dr. Stante a “picture” of what is happening with your muscles and joints.
Computerized Mandibular Scanning or Jaw Tracking allows Dr. Stante to measure and study the pattern of the jaw opening and closing through its full range of motion. Electromyography (EMG) tests provide information on the activity of key muscles that control the jaw during various functions as well as at rest.
Sonography is another option available to Dr. Stante that allows her to assess the status of the articular disk and jaw joint function.
This information is then used in her diagnosis to assist in determining the precise point at which your jaw should be in relation to your upper teeth. Rather than relying on your present jaw position as being the best for you, Dr. Stante uses this additional objective information to determine if your bite should be left as is or be adjusted to a more optimal occlusion.
Once the dentist has determined where your new bite should be, you will be given a plastic appliance called an “orthotic” to keep your bite in its new position. You may wear this orthotic as an interim step to a more permanent treatment.