Neuromuscular Dentistry is a branch of dentistry that specifically deals with and directly relates to problems associated with the lower jaw and cervical region. Neuromuscular dentistry also recognizes the importance of the health and appropriate functionality of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or jaw.
There are miscellaneous reasons and a vast array of symptoms that might cause someone to make an appointment with a neuromuscular dentist, depending on what the symptoms are and what the patient’s level of complaint is. Often times, people that are suffering from something as common as frequent headaches and migraines may benefit from a visit with a neuromuscular dentist.
Other reasons a patient may want to see a neuromuscular dentist would be for symptoms of temporamandibular disorder. This disorder may create ringing in the ears, neck and jaw pain, Bells Palsy, clicking in the jaw, sensitive and sore teeth, jaw numbness, locking jaw, cracked or worn teeth and virtually all other problems associated with the jaw and local muscles.
Neuromuscular dentistry is an advanced science and therefore integrates the use of many sophisticated dentistry techniques to better understand the cause of symptoms a patient may be experiencing. For instance, a neuromuscular dentist may incorporate the use of electro-sonography equipment to actually listen to joint sounds in the jaw and identify abnormalities and misalignments there.
A neuromuscular dentist may also use computerized mandibular scanning equipment to measure the movement of the jaw bone and determine its alignment. To examine the muscle groups associated with the jaw and neck a neuromuscular dentist may make us of highly sensitive electromyography tools.
Depending on what the diagnosis is and what the recommended TMJ course of treatment may be a neuromuscular dentist may choose various treatment options for a patient. These options could range from having the patient wear alignment retainers for extended periods of time or to performing invasive surgery and manually repairing afflicted areas. Many of these courses of treatment may require extended lengths of time for recovery as they vary in degrees of seriousness.
Because of the considerable knowledge that a neuromuscular dentist must have not only about dentistry and oral surgery but about sophisticated computer hardware and software programs, they must make use of extensive training beyond dental school and residency. Because of this training a neuromuscular dentist may charge more for a visit but have the knowledge to diagnosis exactly what might be going on with a patient.