MUSCLE RELAXATION IS KEY TO TMD DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
Muscle Relaxation Therapy is used in our office to calm hyperactive muscles, which are often an underlying factor of muscle fatigue, muscle tension, myofacial pain and tenderness. Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is found to be most effective at establishing ‘homeostasis’ of the masticatory and cervical neck system. When these muscles are tight and hyperactive, this produces abnormal jaw opening and closing patterns which then contribute to torque and strain. Relaxing the muscles to their neutral, ideal physiologic position is key to finding a proper lower jaw position in order to treat Temporo-Mandibular Jaw Dysfunction (TMD).
Using the J5 Myomonitor TENS (at 0.67 Hz), which is a simple device that calmly stimulates the muscles neurally, Dr. Bis is able to capture this physiologic muscular position of the jaw in order to visualize and plan the treatment required to eliminate the symptoms of TMD.
Proper diagnosis relies on data gathered at the Initial Diagnosis appointment where we gather a number of measurements, capture and record the physiologic muscle position (using TENS), and record digital scans of your upper and lower jaw in order for Dr. Bis to visualize and understand the complexity of your particular situation.
The information gained at this initial appointment is then printed on a 3D printer, and transferred to an articulator, which is a mechanical hinged device that imitates jaw movements. Maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) models of your teeth (printed on 3D printer) are attached to the articulator in the TENS bite position, so that functional and para-functional contact relations between the teeth can be studied.
Using the information gathered and studying your teeth and jaw function on the articulator, Dr. Bis can then determine the cause of your TMD, and come up with a treatment plan to begin therapy. A consultation regarding these findings and a thorough discussion of treatment plan options will follow, at which time you can make decisions on how to move forward with treatment. Often, this consultation is lengthy and in-depth and, depending on your particular situation, can be complex and multi-faceted. We encourage our patients to include their significant others in this consultation (if you want to include anyone in your decision-making process) since a lot of information is shared and discussed, which often results in complex questions or decisions that may be challenging to translate later on.