Although it has been around since 1967, many people have no idea what you are talking about when you mention neuromuscular dentistry (NMD, for short). The most basic explanation is that while traditional dentists focus on only the teeth, a neuromuscular dentist concentrates on the teeth, joints and muscles. Each receives individual attention while also being evaluated from a larger point-of-view to ensure everything is working together as it should.
Dr. Ken Collins, DDS, renowned Spokane dentist and the youngest neuromuscular dentist to be selected as a clinical instructor at the now famous Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, helps explain the difference,
“Unlike the traditional dentist whose primary concern is the health of your teeth, a neuromuscular dentist is concerned with the total health of the patient as it pertains to their bite. This, of course, involves your teeth, but it also includes your bones, muscles, tendons and nerves. Every procedure is performed just a little bit differently than other dentists. A neuromuscular dentist is trained in identifying and treating TMJ and can provide relief for those symptoms your doctor may not be able to treat—may not even believe.”
Any dental procedure a patient is considering has a better chance at success in the eyes of a neuromuscular dentist if it is evaluated and planned for regarding the process itself and how it will affect the other teeth, muscles and joints. The philosophy of Neuromuscular dentistry appears to project Aristotle’s thinking when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
The skills that set a neuromuscular dentist apart from the rest of the pack does not end with their knowledge of jaw-joint disorders. Dr. Collins gives us some insight into the bigger picture of NMD.
“Neuromuscular dentistry is more than just treating TMJ disorders; it’s an entirely different way of looking at dentistry that can improve the appearance, comfort, and durability of your dental restorations. For example, if you crack a tooth your traditional dentist may want to just put a crown on it, but a neuromuscular dentist will ask ‘why did that tooth crack’ and identify the bite imbalance that will eventually crack that proposed dental crown the same way it did the original tooth.”
There are two extremely exciting reasons to get the word out about neuromuscular dentistry and all it has to offer.
First, many of the treatments that are performed to solve the problems that are causing pain in the jaw also include getting a smile makeover. How is this possible? Many of the procedures performed by a neuromuscular dentist also straighten the teeth and reshape them. Extreme cases may even require treatment that calls for a full mouth makeover. One surprising method used in neuromuscular dentistry is Botox injections. Facial muscles play a large role in your overall jaw health, and neuromuscular dentistry doesn’t believe in letting any part of the bigger picture go unchecked.
The second reason involves massage. The specialized machinery used in some therapies performed by neuromuscular dentists have been described as jaw massages by satisfied patients.
It sounds like neuromuscular dentistry could possibly change the way the world views a visit to the dentist. As the healthcare industry evolves, patients find themselves searching for providers that care about their overall health and wellness. A group of specially trained dentists may have found themselves offering exactly what the American population is searching for.
As word spreads about this special field of dentistry, former perceptions are being erased and replaced with experiences that sound more like a much-needed spa day than an unpleasant necessity.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788