Patients suffering from temporomandibular disorders (TMD) can turn to The Van Zyl Center for Advanced Dentistry for help. Dr. Van Zyl will evaluate the patient's temporomandibular joint (TMJ) with a K7 machine. After looking closely at the findings from this machine, Dr. Van Zyl will create a customized TMJ treatment plan for the patient, designed to help alleviate their painful symptoms.
What I do is I listen to the patient's muscles. The way I do that is I use
a fairly complicated process of evaluating muscle function. I use surface
EMG's. It's a piece of equipment called K7. Basically, it's the same
principle as the EKG that looks at your heart muscles. We just look at the
surface of the muscles of the face and the jaw to see how they are
posturing the jaw for function.
I use the K7 and I look at the muscle activity of the muscles in the
temples, on the cheeks, under the chin, and along the neck knowing that the
jaw position and the neck position work hand and hand. Then, you manage the
bite based upon where the muscles are comfortable and not overstressed.
When we do that, all kinds of symptoms disappear. Very many people with
chronic headaches that there is no explanation for, the headaches just go
away because we've removed the muscle tension. So, when we manage the
muscles we can calm the nerve down.
That's what I do with TMJ patients. We listen to the physiology of the
body. We don't determine where the jaw needs to sit. We let the body tell
us where it needs to be. Then, we make the teeth touch in that position
through whatever modality we choose to use. Sometimes we can use braces.
Sometimes we do some braces and some crowns. Sometimes we have to do a full
mouth rehabilitation in order to re-align the jaw so that the teeth will
function in harmony with the muscles in the joint instead of fighting one