- Before smile.
Sarah came to our office in need of a complete mouth makeover. She was having muscle spasms on her right side, felt like her bite was off, and had TMJ pain. In addition, she was complaining of jaw pain and pain when chewing. Sarah was concerned about having healthy teeth and gums and a comfortable bite.
Dr. Adler saw that Sarah had several problems that needed to be addressed. Her upper arch had crowding, wear, and large silver fillings that needed to be replaced to avoid fracturing the teeth. Her lower arch had cavities, wear, and crowding. She also had alignment issues, variations in gum height and tooth shade, a deep bite, and her midline was off center. The wear, deep bite, alignment issues, and off center midline concerned Dr. Adler because these along with her symptoms of neck and jaw pain are often signs of TMD (temporal mandibular disorder).
Sarah’s treatment began by doing a K7 evaluation. This involves taking diagnostic cast so we have an accurate model of her mouth and bite. The K7 produces scans that measure the muscles, range of motion, and joint noise among other things. EMG or electromyography measures the muscles at rest and during function-clench. CMS (computerized mandibular scan) measures joint function, habitual freeway space, swallowing, and range of motion. Sonography measures joint sounds. TENS or Transcutaneous Neural Stimulation relaxes the muscles in the face and neck to find their true resting state and establish the occlusion at that position. Material is then placed in the patient’s mouth to capture that ideal position, known as the bite registration. Sarah’s scans showed dramatic improvement when preformed with the bite in place. The bite registration was used in Dr. Adler’s study of her bite and was used by the laboratory to fabricate a fixed orthotic that was bonded to her lower teeth to establish that ideal position. The orthotic was worn and adjusted for several months and gave Sarah a good trial run for how her bite would feel after permanent restoration was completed. The orthotic temporarily alleviated pain symptoms associated with TMD and ensured that her neuromuscular occlusion was correct before undergoing more advanced treatment.