Neuromuscular dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on balancing the muscles of the head and neck to give a proper function of the jaw and its joints. Dr. Chris Hill studied neuromuscular dentistry at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies so he could provide his patients at Smile On Dental Studio in St. Louis with this specialized treatment. With neuromuscular dentistry treatment, the jaw is placed in the correct position to relieve tension. We use advanced digital technology at our dental office to determine precise proper alignment of the lower and upper jaw.
What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentistry is the field of dentistry that focuses on the entire system that relates to your bite. This includes bones, ligaments, nerves, teeth as well as other hard and soft tissues.
One of the main causes of TMJ is actually a disharmony with this system. Your joints, muscles, and teeth each have their own idea of where your jaw should be. Unfortunately, your muscles, or the soft tissue, tend to suffer the most with tension and soreness. If left untreated, the muscles will overpower and wear down the joints and teeth. This may lead to bruxism which will then require dental restoration and joint surgery to fix. Neuromuscular dentistry treatments are designed to prevent this situation from occurring. The ultimate goal is to bring everything associated with your jaw into complete harmony before damage occurs.
After we determine where the jaw and joints need to be using our advanced technology, we are able to provide you with a treatment option. Some of our treatments may include:
- Full mouth reconstruction
- Bite adjustment including Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR)
- Neuromuscular orthodontics
- Neuromuscular orthotics
During the initial phases of treatment for TMJ, a neuromuscular orthotic is used. The orthotic is a fully anatomical appliance placed over the lower teeth to allow the jaw to rest in a muscularly stable position. We measure the treatment using our advanced technology to evaluate how well the muscles respond to the treatment.
Over several months, your jaw muscles begin to heal. During these months, Dr. Chris Hill will adjust the orthotic to move the bite into a position that allows the muscles to feel comfortable and relaxed. Once the muscles feel relaxed, muscle tension decreases and many of the symptoms of TMJ begin to disappear.
Wearing an orthotic may be necessary to achieve long-term results. Many patients start by wearing the orthotic all the time and then graduate to only wearing it at night.
Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR) Therapy
We also offer DTR therapy. This treatment resolves TMJ by reducing forces on your bite. This includes the force when you close your mouth to swallow, or the force used when you chew.
We use digital bite force measurements to identify why and where the bite forces are excessive. Once we know what causes your disclusion we can start to reduce it. Reducing disclusion is typically accomplished using a procedure known as Immediate Complete Anterior Guidance Development (ICAGD). This procedure alters the shape of your teeth to guide the jaws into a healthy position that brings balance to the system. In just one to three visits to our dental office, most patients begin to find relief from their TMJ pain without a bite splint. Your results are seen in just a few weeks and can last for years to come.
Finding TMJ Treatment in St. Louis
If you suffer from TMJ pain, Dr. Chris Hill is a TMJ dentist in St. Louis here to help you find TMJ pain relief through one of our treatment options. Please call (314) 678-7876 today for an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Chris Hill at Smile On Dental Studio.
Suffering from TMJ Pain? Explore neuromuscular dentistry treatments to treat your TMJ. Our specialized TMJ dentist in St. Louis, Dr. Chris Hill is here to provide you with long-term pain relief from TMJ.