Do you suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD)? Have you tried several treatment options, but are still struggling to get long-lasting pain relief?
Non-invasive jaw orthopedics could help!
Our dentists at Oral Health Solutions utilize advanced computer diagnostics to diagnose and correct jaw misalignments that cause TMJ pain and discomfort.
Permanent pain relief from your TMJ symptoms.
Sound good so far? Read on!
How do jaw orthopedics work?
Resolving TMJ issues is usually a two-phase process:
- Phase I: Healing and diagnostics with an orthotic appliance
- Phase II: Moving or building the teeth into the new position
Let’s dive into the details.
Phase I: Healing and diagnostics with an orthopedic appliance
In this initial phase, we’ll determine an ideal bite position that will relieve your TMD symptoms, and create a custom-fit orthotic device to enable healing and immediate pain relief.
What does this process look like?
We start with an initial consultation to understand your TMD symptoms and decide if they may benefit from jaw orthopedics.
Next, we use advanced computer diagnostics to calculate a medically improved bite position.
To perform this analysis, we use a process known as “shooting the bite,” where we hook you up to a K7 computer program and evaluate your muscle function using electromyography (EMG)…Opens in a new window to article from Mayo Clinic about EMG….
This helps us understand where the problem lies.
Comparing your muscle function and activity
We’ll first look at your muscle function in its natural bite position, and compare it to the new medically improved bite position.
In a healthy bite, the temporalis muscles (the “steering” muscles of the jaw) are relatively quiet. In a patient with TMJ issues, the temporalis muscles are usually firing more than they should, leading to headaches, head or neck pain, or clicking and popping in the joints.
In the images below, you’ll see lines logging the activity of four different muscle groups, on both the left and right side of the jaw, for a total of eight lines:
- The first two sets of lines are for the left and right temporalis muscles.
- The second two sets of lines are for the left and right masseter muscles, or the “biceps” of the jaw.
In this first image, you’ll notice that the natural bite position causes excess activity in the muscles, demonstrated by the severe earthquake-looking lines.
In the next image, you can see the medically improved bite position with much calmer lines and a normal amount of muscle activity.f
Once the ideal bite position is determined, we’ll register it using green impression material. You can see an example of this impression in the image below.
Using these measurements, we create a custom-fit non-surgical jaw orthopedic device.
Much like an orthotic is worn in shoes to support your feet, our jaw orthopedic appliance is worn in the mouth to balance out your bite.
By wearing your new jaw orthotic, you’ll have the opportunity to try out your improved bite position and experience immediate pain relief. You can take your orthotic appliance in and out as needed.
Trying out your new bite is also helpful to ensure we have correctly identified the appropriate changes that need to be made, so we can then confidently begin phase II.
Phase II: Moving or building the teeth into the new position
Once you are happy with your new bite and improvement is confirmed with the jaw orthopedic appliance, you may choose to move to a long-term solution and reconstruct your bite.
From here, we can craft a custom treatment plan to physically shift your teeth and jaw structure into the new position. The specifics of what this entails varies depending on the extent of movement needed.
After phase II is complete, you’ll no longer have to wear your orthotic to experience pain relief from your TMD symptoms.
You’ll enjoy a permanently improved bite and long-term relief.
Is a jaw orthopedic right for you?
Find out if jaw orthopedics can diagnose and relieve your TMJ pain for good!
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We proudly serve Langley, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, New Westminster, and Vancouver, BC.