Maintaining dental function and health is all about balance. Misalignment of the jaw can lead to a number of health consequences, ranging from bite problems and bruxism, to sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. While each of these issues can be treated independently, until the underlying issues have been addressed, patients are at a risk of recurrent oral and maxillofacial issues.
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale, Dr. Michael Kelly has years of experience working with patients to comprehensively address these issues. Through neuromuscular dentistry, our Scottsdale dentist is able to provide lasting solutions that prevent current issues from worsening and potential alignment problems from negatively impacting your smile.
What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
This innovative approach to wellness emphasizes the importance of balance between facial muscles, jaw, and teeth. When these components are not at equilibrium, they become overworked, leading to jaw pain, bruxism, headaches, migraines, and soreness, as well as other head, neck, and shoulder issues. By relaxing muscles with a specialized machine, neuromuscular dentists are able to determine the ideal jaw position in relation to bite alignment and patient comfort.
Who Can Benefit from Neuromuscular Dental Treatment?
Like any other dental treatment, eligibility for undergoing neuromuscular care is based on the condition and needs of each patient. Often, neuromuscular evaluations are recommended for individuals experiencing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) symptoms, patients experiencing sleep apnea, individuals with dental erosion, and patients with aesthetic facial changes from collapse of the lower jaw as a result of severe bruxism. Neuromuscular therapy may also be integrated as a preliminary treatment in more extensive cases of oral reconstruction involving as dental implants or cosmetic dentistry.
How is Better Bite Alignment Achieved?
Neuromuscular treatment begins with an in-depth evaluation of the teeth, jaw, and facial muscles. Using digital x-rays, as well as computerized jaw tracking during this diagnostic stage, our Scottsdale neuromuscular dentist is able to determine where the jaw should be in relation to the other parts of the mouth and head.
Once Dr. Kelly has identified the best position for your smile, long-term treatment plans for relaxing the muscles are developed. Often, we use electrical stimulation through low frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation, or TENS therapy. With this instrument, electrical stimulation similar to that used by a physical therapist is administered to the muscles via electrodes. This helps the muscles relax while tracking jaw muscle movement.
Additional treatment may also be needed in order to permanently correct the position of the jaw. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale, oral myotherapy, orthodontics, and custom oral appliances can be developed to help patients retrain their jaw muscles and improve the alignment of their smiles. Through this multi-faceted approach to better jaw positioning, our dentists are able to fully address multiple issues that have compromised patients’ dental health, function, and aesthetics.
Learn More about Neuromuscular Dentistry Today
Scottsdale dentist Dr. Michael Kelly has over 20 years of experience treating the neuromuscular needs of patients from the Scottsdale and Phoenix metropolitan region. To learn more about the long term benefits of this therapy, contact our team today.