Neuromuscular dentistry is a form of dentistry that focuses on correcting misalignment the teeth (know as malocclusion or a “bad bite”) by ensuring that the teeth, muscles of the jaw, the facial nerves and the jaw joint (known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) work together in harmony. While conventional dentistry primarily concentrates on the teeth, gums, and bones, neuromuscular dentistry attempts to solve the root of the misalignment problem(s) by understanding and correcting the relationships between the muscles, joints and nerves.
Your Neuromuscular evaluation consists of using computerized diagnostics and modeling of your jaw to evaluate your occlusion or “bite”. This evaluation can include the use of Surface Electromyography to verify the pre-treatment condition of the muscles, sonography to evaluate the condition of the TMJ and jaw tracking to determine your current mandibular trajectory.
Neuromuscular treatment consists of using an ultra-low frequency TENS (Transcutaenous Electrical Neural Stimulation) device to first relax the facial and masticatory muscles. Once these muscles are relaxed Dr. Frascella can then locate the “physiological rest” position of the lower jaw (the mandible).
He then uses computer modeling of your jaw movements and to determine the contribution the muscles may be playing in your current occlusion. Surface EMG, sonography and jaw tracking will also be used throughout your treatment program to verify and refine your occlusion.
Through the use of these advanced diagnostics Dr. Frascella can then determine the optimal positioning of the lower jaw in relationship to the upper jaw.
Once that relationship has been established an orthotic (similar to the look and feel of a mouth guard) is commonly worn to realign the jaw. Dr. Frascella will then discuss with you your treatment options. Those options may include orthodontic treatment, use of the orthotic as a “crutch”, overlay partials, or rehabilitation of the teeth through partial or full mouth reconstruction.