What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

neuromuscular dentistry Glendale, AZ

Neuromuscular dentistry is a controversial topic among dentists. Nonetheless, it can be very helpful for individuals who suffer from TMJ disorder or malocclusions. TMD disorder and malocclusions both stem from problems with the jaw, which can be corrected with neuromuscular dentistry practices and procedures. Because of the lack of attention that neuromuscular dentistry gets, a lot of people are unfamiliar with what it entails, thus making it an unknown treatment option. Below is a quick overview of neuromuscular dentistry, including what it is, how it works and why it is necessary.

Understanding neuromuscular dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry defined

Neuromuscular dentistry is a field that focuses on malocclusions and TMD disorders. The practices consist of jaw realignments, which are done to correct the issues listed above. 

It is typical for neuromuscular dentists to only focus on chronic disorders, meaning the patient has to exhibit signs that their TMD is ongoing. Additionally, malocclusions are usually permanent, which means neuromuscular dental efforts can be applied. However, one important thing to know is that a lot of orthodontists also offer similar malocclusion correction. Individuals that do not respond well to orthodontic treatment typically continue their search by consulting with a neuromuscular dentist. 

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosing and treating jaw-related conditions in neuromuscular dentistry is complex. The jaw is one of the most involved parts of the oral cavity and requires special care when any type of treatment is performed. Neuromuscular dentists may run a number of tests before beginning an actual treatment process. Diagnostic tests include the following.

  • Sonography: vibrations in the jaw are measured as opening and closing take place. This identifies where any malfunction is located.
  • Jaw tracking: a 3D model of the jaw is drawn to highlight abnormalities.
  • Electromyography: electrical impulses locate and track muscle movement to identify problems with the jaw or bite.
  • Nerve stimulation: electrical stimulations are sent to the muscles relating to the jaw, thus relieving spasms and identifying problem areas.

After diagnostic tests are run, the neuromuscular dentist may perform a number of jaw realignment treatments. Popular options include anti-inflammatory medications, jaw splints for stabilization and even surgery. Each individual is different, which means their needs may vary. Some may respond well to medication, while others may require a more in-depth treatment plan. 

Other things to know

When considering neuromuscular dentistry services, it is important to understand that jaw realignment is permanent. In most cases, TMJ disorders will not last for life, which means the appropriate treatment can be provided to relieve symptoms and manage the malfunction that comes with it. 

Find out more from a neuromuscular dentist

Neuromuscular dentistry can be quite beneficial to the overall health of the oral cavity. However, it does require an in-depth consultation in order for any treatment to be considered or started. To learn more about this field and what it entails, reach out today. Any questions or concerns can be addressed appropriately, and an evaluation appointment can be scheduled. 

Request an appointment here: https://www.arizonatmj.com or call Arizona TMJ at (602) 603-8945 for an appointment in our Glendale office. 

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