Thursday, March 22, 2007

Full Mouth Restoration

What is Full Mouth Restoration?

Full Mouth Restoration, sometimes called neuromuscular dentistry, is the individual restructuring of each and every tooth. Neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint or jaw joint). While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry attempts to solve the root of the misalignment problem(s) by understanding the soft tissues, muscles, and nerves. This method of treatment determines the optimal physiological position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of head and neck muscles and then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome or TMJ joint disorders are medical problems related to the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull (temporal bone) under your ear. Certain facial muscles control chewing. Problems in this area can cause head and neck pain, a jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open, problems biting, and popping sounds when you bite.

What causes TMJ pain?

The TMJ or Temperomandibular Joint is the "hinge" that functions when the jaw opens and closes. There are many theories and practices to treating TMJ pain. Every TMJ dentist will have his or her own theory on TMJ treatment. People will often report neck and upper back pain, headaches, sore muscles and even migraines. Neuromuscular dentistry practices under the premise that when the teeth are shortened (either by wear, grinding, old age, clenching or even the cumulative effects of large amounts of dentistry) then the jaw over-closes causing stress and pressure in the TMJ. By restoring the vertical dimension to the teeth or by positioning a carefully fitted orthotic optimal health and function is restored to the TMJ. Many people suffering from TMJ pain have found relief using the techniques and theories of neuromuscular dentistry.

Symptoms of TMJ pain

* Headaches / Migraines
* Facial pain
* Neck and shoulder pain
* Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears)
* Vertigo (dizziness)
* Tic doulereaux (trigeminal neuralgia), a neuropathic pain disorder unrelated to TMD
* Bell's Palsy, a nerve disorder unrelated to TMD
* Unexplained loose teeth
* Sensitive and sore teeth
* Jaw pain
* Limited jaw movement or locking jaw
* Numbness in the fingers and arms (related to the cervical musculature and nerves, not to TMD)
* Worn or cracked teeth
* Clicking or popping in the jaw joints
* Depression

Neuromuscular dentistry uses computer modeling of the patient's jaw movements and sonography of the TMJ to check for the extent of joint damage. Surface EMG's are used to verify pre-treatment conditions and if true rest is obtained by TENS. TENS (ultra-low frequency transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation) is used to locate "physiological rest" of the jaw muscles.

Once a physiologic rest position is found the doctor can determine the optimal positioning of the lower jaw to the upper jaw. An orthotic is commonly worn for 3-6 months (24 hours per day) to realign the jaw, at which point orthodontic treatment, use of the orthotic as a "crutch", overlay partial, or orthodontic treatment and/or rehabilitation of the teeth is recommended to correct teeth and jaw position.

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Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.