Ultimately, I want to cure a patient’s TMD problems, not just treat the symptoms, and I want to do what’s best for my patients. Neuromuscular Dentistry allows me to prescribe less medication and perform fewer surgeries, which by far, the better solution
Austin, Texas (PRWEB) October 02, 2012
Dr. Gregg Ueckert, DDS, Austin’s premiere dentist is widely recognized for his expertise in functional and aesthetic dentistry, as well as his neuromuscular approach to treating dysfunction. Neuromuscular Dentistry focuses on treating the muscles of the head and neck along with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A misaligned bite position can affect the orthopedic alignment of the entire body, and is a leading cause of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). A poor bite position will not only affect the head and neck, but also descend down the spine to the pelvis area resulting in pain throughout the body as well as sciatica.
When the jaw is not properly aligned, patients often experience headaches, muscle soreness, spasms, tinnitus, jaw pain, limited opening or popping and clicking of the joint. The traditional treatment methodology for TMD starts with generic splint therapy designed to fit over either the upper or lower teeth, preventing the teeth from coming together. Although this traditional splint therapy may be sufficient to reduce symptoms, it does nothing to correct the underlying causes of dysfunction.
“The patient can wear a night guard but at some point they have to take it out and start using their teeth again.” Dr. Ueckert says. “If their teeth are aligned in such a way that muscles have to twist and torque the jaw to bring the teeth together, something has got to give. Teeth on average come together 3000 times each day. If we ask the muscles to go beyond their capability, many times the patients become chronic pain sufferers.”
“TMJ can be a debilitating disorder, causing painful migraine-strength headaches,” says Dr. Ueckert. “So often patients are steered towards medical pain management options, splints, even surgery, when the homeopathic solution is equally, if not more, efficacious.”
That homeopathic solution, Neuromuscular Dentistry, relies heavily on advances in technology. Computerized instrumentation measures the patient's jaw movements. Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS), Computerized Mandibular Scanning (CMS), Jaw Motion Analysis (JMA), and Electromyography (EMG) are just some of the instruments used in identifying occlusional issues. Hence, the extensive training necessary to be skilled in these neuromuscular methods.
Neuromuscular certification requires extensive training to understand the natural balance between the tissues of the mouth, head, neck, and vertebral column; in order to develop a harmonious relationship between them all. Dr Ueckert has elevated his understanding through completing neuromuscular study with industry leader and innovator Dr Clayton Chan. Dr Ueckert has now completed levels 1 through 6 of Dr. Chan’s Occlusion Connections course. This curriculum is the most complete clinical, post graduate neuromuscular training offered; which is designed to enhance diagnostic awareness and clinical occlusional skills.
“It’s all worth it, if I’m able to provide my patients with a better solution to their TMJ disorder,” says Dr. Ueckert. “My practice motto is ‘Persistence Leads to Perfection’ and I hold myself to that standard of excellence.”
Certified dentists like Dr. Ueckert relax the position of the muscles in the head and neck to allow the jaw to assume its optimum position of rest. The workhorse of Neuromuscular Dentistry is the TENS system. This ultra low frequency (ULF) device sends a signal to the muscles of the head and neck essentially deprogramming them. Once a restful position is defined, an ideal position for the teeth to fit together is identified and an impression of that position is made.
Next, an orthotic appliance is used to fabricate an impression to “test drive” a new bite position. This will allow for evaluation of occlusional positioning and monitoring of the patient’s symptoms. This is non-invasive therapy, all done without any irreversible actions to the patient’s teeth. Additional homeopathic therapies such as chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture and massage therapy may be used to compliment neuromuscular treatment.
“We are essentially reprogramming the muscles and orthopedically realigning the body. When we change the relationship between the upper and lower jaw, we change the position of the TMJ, and address the cervical neck complex, optimizing their functional range,” says Dr. Ueckert. “Just like the muscles of your fingers remember how to type on a keyboard, your muscles of mastication remember and repeat patterns. They must re-learn the right patterns. Once the correct patterns become habit the patients feel better and smile more.”