What is Gneuromuscular Dentistry?
Gneuromuscular Dentistry (NMD) is the term applied to techniques that expand upon the traditional mechanical approach to dentistry. To understand it, you must know something about your occlusion.
Your “occlusion” is the way that your upper and lower teeth fit together. The muscles of your head and neck posture your jaw and hold the lower teeth close to the upper ones. You don’t consciously hold your jaw in this position – it is “programmed” in your brain.
Traditional dentistry is based on mechanical concepts that assume that your present bite (occlusion) is best for you. Such dental treatment generally aims to restore your bite to that position – what might be called two-dimensional dentistry. Gneuromuscular Dentistry takes into consideration a third dimension – the status and function of the muscles that control jaw position, chewing and swallowing.
Using computerized equipment, the Gneuromuscular Dentist can measure and study the pattern of jaw opening and closing through its full range of motion and in three dimensions. Computer software technology documents the precise point at which your jaw is being held in relation to the upper teeth and measures the activity of key muscles that control the jaw – both in function and at rest. Rather than relying on your present jaw position as being the best one for you, the dentist can use the additional objective information to determine if your jaw position (bite) should be left as is or adjusted to a more optimal position.
Is Gneuromuscular Dentistry for you?
There are always options for you to choose from when deciding on dental treatment. After initially evaluating your situation, Dr. Kesteven will discuss those options with you. Sometimes the options may be as simple as choosing the type of restorative material to use in a filling or crown. Gneuromuscular techniques would not be necessary for these relatively simple procedures.
If you are contemplating major dental procedures such as reconstruction (including cosmetic dentistry), orthodontics, implants, dentures, or if you suffer head/neck pain or other “TMJ”-like symptoms, your choice of treatment becomes more important.
Traditional, “two dimensional” dental techniques may produce satisfactory results since the human system has considerable ability to accommodate. However, it is in these major cases that establishing the correct occlusion becomes so important. This is when choosing gneuromuscular diagnostic techniques might have a positive and long term impact on the outcome of the treatment. Gneuromuscular test results give your dentist added insight – that “third dimension” – that very well may allow him/her to speed completion and improve the final treatment results.
For more information about Gneuromuscular Dentistry or TMJ pain click here.
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