You know that you have more than just teeth in your mouth—shouldn’t your dentist? Unlike the traditional dentist whose primary concern is the health of your dentition (your teeth), a neuromuscular dentist, such as Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins in Spokane, is concerned with the total health of the patient as it pertains to the patient’s bite. This of course includes your teeth and the way they fit together (occlusion), but it also includes your bones, muscles, tendons, and nerves.
A neuromuscular dentist performs every procedure just a little bit different than other dentists. Find out how that difference benefits the look, function, and comfort of your smile. Please call (509) 532-1111 (Spokane) or email Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today for an appointment at our Spokane location.
Why is Occlusion Important?
When a patient’s bite is out of whack, a plethora of problems can ensue. One of the most commonly known issues is TMJ. This can lead to headaches, neck, jaw and shoulder pain and even dizziness and ringing in the ears. But poor occlusion also leads to the wearing down of teeth, which exposes nerves and can be incredibly painful. When the bite doesn’t come together properly and teeth begin to wear, chewing your food or even just talking can lead to agony.
Spokane Valley based neuromuscular dentist Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins have trained extensively in treating such issues and continue to explore the most leading-edge technologies for doing so. If you would like to talk to them about your own concerns, please feel free to contact our office.
Treating TMJ: A Neuromuscular Dentist’s Focus
TMJ, temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMD, occurs when the function of your bite is out of harmony. The muscles, teeth, and bones aren’t working together properly, which can lead to clicking, popping, or discomfort in the jaw. It can also cause damage or wear on your teeth. But because the muscles of your jaw work with those in your neck and head, the effects can go beyond your mouth, including headaches, ringing in the ears, neck pain, even numbness or tingling in your fingers.
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.
Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins first diagnoses any neuromuscular issues with a K7 computer evaluation system that outputs invaluable clinical data on how your bite is currently aligned. They will then begin treatment with the TENS, which electronically massages the muscles in your jaw. Many patients report an immediate relief in their TMJ symptoms, including pain, after TENSing. Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will ultimately resolve your neuromuscular problem with one or a combination of the following:
- Coronoplasty – making small adjustments to the shape of a tooth to correct bite issues.
- A Neuromuscular Orthotic – facilitates joint decompression and muscle relaxation.
- Full Mouth Reconstruction – every tooth that contributes to the misalignment of your bite is changed with a crown or a veneer so that your occlusion is perfected.
Our goals are the long-term relief of symptoms and the health of your bite. We will start with minimally invasive treatments before moving on to more permanent treatments.
The Benefits of Neuromuscular Dentistry for All Procedures
Neuromuscular dentistry is more than just treating TMJ, 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 dental crown on it, but a neuromuscular dentist will ask “why did that tooth crack?” and identify the bite imbalance that will crack the dental crown the way it did the tooth.
This is especially important when using porcelain veneers to restore worn, chipped, or cracked front teeth. Under normal conditions, porcelain veneers are highly durable and will last for decades, but a bad bite will destroy them.
A neuromuscular dentist will also look at the impact a dental restoration may have on your current bite, and will never give you a crown or filling that will cause you long-term discomfort or poor fit.
Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins received specialized training in neuromuscular dentistry from The Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, the premier neuromuscular dental institute in the world. They are now clinical instructors at this neuromuscular dentistry school.
The First Step Toward Neuromuscular Dentistry Treatment
If you’ve suffered with bite issues for any length of time and you recognize that it is time for a change, email our Spokane Valley neuromuscular dentistry office today, or call our office at (509) 532-1111 in Spokane. Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will help you with your pain and give you a great looking smile at the same time!