Neuromuscular Braces (Relaxing Muscles for Ortho)
Phase One Orthotics
Treatment of complex cases of TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorders, are typically broken down into two phases. During phase one, we may suggest the fabrication of an orthotic. An orthotic is a fixed or removable appliance designed to slowly reposition the jaw to the correct neuromuscular position. TMJ orthotics should ideally be worn close to full-time to eliminate the pain and symptoms associated with TMD. Most orthotics resemble a retainer or night guard and should be treated as such. Dr. Cory Nguyen will be able to determine which orthotic is right for your during the diagnostic phase of treatment. Advanced technology, such as the TENS unit and 3D CBCT scans, will help us determine the best and most comfortable position for your TMJ. We will also analyze your bite to determine which muscles are causing your pain.
After about four to six months you should see relief from TMD, allowing us to move forward with phase two. Phase two of TMJ treatment often involves neuromuscular orthodontics to keep your jaw in a permanent position established by the orthotic appliance.
What Is Neuromuscular Orthodontics?
Picture your teeth as gears in a machine. When the machine is properly calibrated, the gears should fit together perfectly. This allows the machine (your jaw) to operate smoothly. When the gears are out of alignment, the machine begins to falter (symptoms of TMJ). Neuromuscular orthodontics is designed to keep your jaw in its anatomically ideal position, by keeping your teeth in the proper alignment. The goal is to maintain the correct position without the use of an orthotic device.
Traditional orthodontics is primarily concerned with aesthetics. This type of straightening treatment usually does nothing to address or establish a harmonious relationship between your teeth, your muscles, and the temporomandibular joint. Neuromuscular orthodontics involves a more practical approach to create maximum comfort, balance, and function. In many cases, this may include the widening and forward movement of the upper jaw. Neuromuscular braces are used to move the teeth to a more refined position.
There is no set duration for neuromuscular orthodontic treatment. Treatment time usually depends on the number of teeth we need to move for proper alignment. Each patient is different, but we try to accomplish proper alignment within six to 14 months.
It is important to note that both children and adults can benefit from neuromuscular orthodontics. It is better to proactively establish neuromuscular balance before symptoms of TMJ arise. Research shows that symptoms of TMD increase in number and intensity as we age. Neuromuscular orthotics and orthodontics should greatly diminish or completely resolve symptoms associated with TMD.
Esthetic Benefits of Neuromuscular Orthodontics
Neuromuscular orthodontics often results in esthetic benefits too, some of which include:
Schedule a Consultation
Find out if your symptoms are related to TMD today! Call (972) 591-7520 to schedule a consultation appointment.