In addition to standard dental equipment, our office employs a number of technologies to enhance diagnosis, screening, treatment planning, and communication. We routinely use bite force sensors for quantitative measurement, analysis, and documentation of relative occlusal forces in time.
For TMD patients with muscle tension and fatigue, we have EMG sensors to record masseter and temporalis activity. For those with joint concerns, vibration sonography provides objective evaluation of the TMJs in motion. And as needed, we coordinate with specialists and imaging centers for MRI & CBCT.
Burdensome TMD symptoms and/or damaged TMJs may arise from either:
(1) chronic microtraumatic malocclusion,
(2) acute macrotraumatic injury, &/or
(3) systemic & regional medical conditions.
TMD patients can have more than one of these origins contributing to symptoms like migraine headaches, eye pressure, muscle tension-fatigue-spasms, facial tightness-burning-tingling, joint clicking-popping-pressure, limited or involuntary jaw & neck movements, compromised airway, tinnitus, vertigo, etcetera.
Malocclusion can exacerbate symptoms commonly diagnosed by medical professionals (e.g. ENTs, neurologists, DCs) as characteristic of Meniere's disease, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and Cervical Dystonia, among others.
Dentistry plays a uniquely important role in the diagnosis and treatment of TMD symptoms because your jaw muscles position your mandible within a dynamic range of motion which is in part governed by trigeminal stimuli provided by your teeth. The stomatognathic system provides magnificent witness and creative testament to the wonderful complexity of the human body. Internal jaw muscles (e.g., lateral and medial pterygoids) play a significant role in diagnosis, but they cannot be measured by EMG sensors in the same way as masseters and temporalis muscles.
A cascade of TMD symptoms including but not limited to ear canal disturbance, nerve compression, and compromised airway can occur when parafunctional biomechanical and/or psychosocial stressors impose demands in response to malocclusion that exceed the adaptive capacity of your jaw muscles and TMJ anatomy.
CONSULT & DTR SCREENING
Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR) therapy can readily address malocclusion in patients with stable and adapted TMJs - usually with zero injections, zero medications, and zero plastic!
For TMD patients with stable TMJs, occlusal analysis is an important part of a thorough multidisciplinary diagnosis. Measurement of malocclusion allows dentistry to offer data-driven, precisely targeted occlusal adjustments and potential relief from migraine headaches, tinnitus, vertigo, and related TMD symptoms.
STEP 1: CONSULTATION
- phone, video, &/or in-office
- meet & discuss your concerns with Dr. Harden
- learn more about your TMD symptoms
- no commitment, no urgency, no pressure
- photo eval: big smile biting on back teeth
- in-office T-SCAN evaluation
Macrotrauma and medical conditions (e.g., arthritis, ICR, fibromyalgia, CRPS) play significant roles in diagnosis and treatment planning. TMJ stability and occlusion are intricately connected to one another. Unstable joints demand primary attention over occlusal analysis because they directly affect the bite (and vice versa).
STEP 2: DTR SCREENING
- formal & objective TMJ diagnosis
- full mouth TRIOS imaging
- INNOBYTE measurement of absolute bite force
- T-SCAN occlusion diagnosis
- T-SCAN disclusion diagnosis
- EMG recordings during mandibular movements
- determines DTR THERAPY candidacy
- interdisciplinary referral as appropriate
Full color 3D visualization of your teeth and gums for diagnosis and communication.
T-SCAN BITE SENSOR
Relative force measurement of your occlusion during mandibular movements.
INNOBYTE BITE SENSOR
Absolute force measurement of your bite.
Measurement of your muscle activity (temporalis, masseter) during mandibular movements.
Audio recording of TMJs as your mouth opens and closes for diagnosis of your articular discs in motion.
Imaging the soft tissue of your TMJs, with special attention paid to the condition and positions of your articular discs in several mandibular positions.
Cone beam CT imaging of the hard tissue of your TMJs, with special attention paid to the health of the condyles.