To test for TMJ disorder and determine a patient’s ideal jaw posture, Orange County cosmetic dentist Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen employs the use of the most accurate and effective diagnostic aids. Read on to learn more about TMJ disorder testing and treatment.
Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS)
Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS) is a technology that uses low frequency electrical pulses that cause the muscles to contract. The contraction of the muscles produces a massaging effect that reduces pain and eases the jaw muscles into proper alignment. This enables Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen to accurately determine your optimal bite position so treatment can be designed according to these specifications.
The Electromyography (EMG) test involves the placement of sensors on the head and neck to measure muscle activity and dysfunction. If muscle tension descends from the head to the neck, this is an indication of TMJ disorder. With the EMG test, Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen can identify problems with the patient’s jaw muscle function and bite. The testing can be performed prior to, during, and after TENS therapy to precisely measure the level of muscle strength, tension, and relaxation in the patient’s jaw during different stages of treatment.
Computerized Jaw Tracking Instrumentation
With computerized jaw tracking technology, Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen can monitor the movement of the mandible in three-dimensions. The test involves use of a headset and a specialized magnet that is placed on the gums below the front facing, lower teeth. These devices track jaw movement, the patient’s resting position, and the manner in which the jaw moves from open to closed position so Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen can pinpoint the dysfunction that is causing the TMJ disorder.
With the Sonography test, Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen records the sounds that the jaw joint makes when moving the jaw from an open to resting position; this test assists Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen in identifying any abnormalities of the jaw.
To restore neuromuscular harmony and bring the jaw into its ideal resting position, Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen may recommend the splint therapy Orthosis, which is a special mouth guard that can be worn by patients at night. The mouth guard will protect the teeth, relax the muscles, limit muscle strain, and help the patient maintain a comfortable jaw posture while they sleep.
For our patients in Orange County, TMJ treatment usually involves nightly use of a mouth guard. However, other dental treatments may be performed to align the bite. These include:
- Orthodontic treatment: Crooked teeth and an overbite, underbite, or crossbite can prevent patients from finding a comfortable resting position for the jaw. Orthodontic treatment with traditional braces or Invisalign® can move the teeth into alignment and improve the patient’s bite.
- Replacement of missing teeth: When a patient is missing a tooth (or multiple teeth), the remaining teeth slowly move out of their ideal position and adversely affect the patient’s bite. Replacing any missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures can resolve this issue.
- The use of dental crowns or onlays: The placement of dental crowns or onlays over the biting surface of a tooth may resolve a patient’s bite problems.
For diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder, contact our Orange County practice today.