- Oral Health
Neuromuscular Dentistry – Things to Know
Dentistry is advancing day by day like all other fields. As there are a number of appliances available today, to correct teeth, new thinking and technologies have come up too to correct your jaw alignment and thus take you out of malocclusions. Neuromuscular dentistry is one of them.
Introduction to Neuromuscular Dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry is a viewpoint which claims that the problems of misalignment of teeth, bites or jaws can be rectified by finding out its relation with all the surrounding tissues involved, like muscles, nerves, teeth and temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Therefore neuromuscular dentistry uses certain instruments to find out some data about these tissues. The data is about measurement and recording of function of mandible and status of masticatory muscles. The TM joint is important for diagnosing the problem and therefore its information plays a vital role. TM i.e. temporomandibular joint is the joint of jaw on each side of face.
The instruments are computerized. Mainly three things are found about. Firstly, jaw movement of patient are found out by Computerized Mandibular Scanning or Jaw Motion Analysis; then activity of muscles is found out through electromyography. Then, sounds of temporomandibular joints are found out using Electro-Sonography or Joint Vibration Analysis to be helpful in knowing if there is derangement of joint. .
Another instrument is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator which is used to stimulate nerves using electrical current. In neuromuscular dentistry, its ultra-low frequency is used. Its pre, mid and post effect is checked using surface electromyography. And, by combining it with CMS or JMA the dentist can find out a physiological rest point, through which the relation between upper and lower jaw can be found out. This is necessary to determine a bite position.
The important thing in all this process is the instruments should not impair or come in between patient’s normal jaw movements. And also, the dentist should be able to examine the patient’s jaw movements precisely.
After the rest point is found out, the dentist can establish the best arrangement of the lower jaw with the upper jaw. An orthopedic appliance called orthotic is to be worn for entire day for 3 to 6 months for the realignment of jaw.
The instruments available in the market are quite small-sized and portable. They can be connected to the USB port of any type of PC. The software is Windows based and equipped with color graphics so that the dentist can distinguish well between different positions. The color graphics are also useful to print attractive-looking reports for patient, and other referring doctors.
Care You Should Take and Costs
The very first care you should take is to approach a genuine TMJ specialist or neuromuscular dentist. If you believe in whatever they claim, you may end up in worsening your TMJ symptoms and teeth shaved unnecessarily, producing no useful results. The best way to find out about the genuineness of the dentist is to approach your local administration’s oral surgery department.
Once you find a specialist, don’t hand over yourself to him or her just like that. Find out about his or her former patients and approach them. Get as many opinions as you can and ensure thoroughly that the doctor will be really good for your teeth and jaws.
The costs are around some thousand dollars. Some may even tell you around 40,000 dollars. And mostly, the treatment is not covered by insurance. Therefore, if you are going to spend so much money from your own pocket, you should get it done carefully. Don’t hesitate to ask the doctor about his or her qualification and make other enquiries and after thorough scrutiny, hand over your teeth and jaws to the dentist.