NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY (NMD) - 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 - 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.
We seek 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 is called the neuromuscular bite.
HOW IS TREATMENT PERFORMED?
We may consider various types of dental treatment - to improve your smile, to correct a misaligned bite or to relieve a painful condition. To provide you with an optimal bite that gives you a beautiful smile as well as healthy muscles and joints, we will evaluate and study the complex relationship between your teeth, jaw joints and muscles. We then apply neuromuscular principles to build your bite.
NMD begins by relaxing the muscles around the jaw with the use of a TENS device (Myomonitor). The Myomonitor is a battery operated electrical muscle stimulator that delivers mild electrical stimulus to the muscles of the facial/jaw area, and possible the neck and shoulder area, to "exercise" these muscles and cause them to relax.
We may also perform test using computerized technology that provide very detailed information about the status of your muscles and joints.
Computerized mandibular Scanning or Jaw Tracking allows us to measure and study the pattern of the jaw opening and closing through it's 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 and allows us to asses the status of the particular disk and jaw joint function.
This information is then used to assist in determining the precise point at which your jaw should be in relation to your upper teeth.
Once we have 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.