Several weeks ago I was involved in a continuing education seminar with Dr. Jay Gerber. The subject was Neuromuscular Orthodontics. This is continuation of the last 7-8 years of programs that I have attended so that we can deliver a service that allows for enhanced function and esthetics for each and every guest.
Neuromuscular orthodontics emphasizes how the muscles, jaw joints, and teeth affect one another. Proper meshing of the teeth so that they function in harmony with the jaw joints and muscles will allow teeth to wear and function evenly, be stable, and decrease trauma to the surrounding supporting bone. By using specialized computerized techniques, the fundamental and structural components of the face (which includes the jaw), the jaw joints, and muscles are taken into consideration in assessing optimal function. The use of this state-of-the-art jaw recording instrumentation allows a proper tongue and jaw position to help minimize destructive forces on teeth. Rather than subjectively taking a bite and assuming the jaw trajectory is correct, the instrumentation assists in identifying a correct jaw position before and after orthodontic treatment.
By positioning teeth and jaws on a stable neuromuscular trajectory, any unidentified occlusal forces and muscular imbalances that would encourage further relapse are eliminated. Gelb, Bowbeer, Beistle, Witzig, and Spahl are just a few of the investigators who have published sufficient evidence to substantiate that the prescribed trajectory results in a stable occlusion and better facial esthetics. It also has the allowed us to approach the orthodontic diagnosis without having to remove teeth in situations that in the past had to have teeth removed to solve the malocclusion. We begin with tensing in order to find the most optimum jaw position toward which teeth should be moved.
Establishing an occlusion based upon the most stable position and function of the temporomandibular joints and the most relaxed posture and function of the masticatory muscles is a key component of neuromuscular dentistry. Often it is assumed that the teeth, active muscles, and jaw joints will accommodate to the treated occlusion. With the proper instumentation, it is possible to determine a proper resting jaw position that positively affects the facial, head, and neck muscles, as well as the teeth and joints.
The course was time well spent and when pursuing your orthodontic solution it is important to consider neuromuscular orthodontics as a viable and scientifically supported means to achieve long term stability.