Neuromuscular or Orthopedic orthodontics is an option for Phase 2 (making the jaw healthy permanently) of our treatment for TMJ disorders. Placing the word Neuro-muscular or Orthopedic in front of the word Orthodontics means that we are not just straightening teeth, we are doing so much more! We are increasing the volume of air that goes down the throat, we are aligning the vertebrae in the neck to be in-line with the dental arches of the teeth, we are enabling patients to breathe more comfortably through their nose, we are making sure that your jaw joints do not click crack or pop and have sufficient space to open and close smoothly. How do we do all this you ask? Keep reading.
Why is Orthopedic or Neuromuscular Orthodontics the Final stage in Curing or Ending TMJ?
Phase 2 TMJ therapy utilizing orthodontics can come into play. The goal is to maintain the correct position/bite without the continuing need for a Phase 1 TMJ orthotic device. Neuromuscular orthodontics can move the teeth to make this new found corrected position permanent!
Often this involves widening and bringing forward the upper and lower teeth arches that will actually grows bone 3 dimensionally in the upper jaw. This is upper arch development is usually accomplished with a fixed upper orthodontic appliance called a FAGGA. Again, the goal is to permanently move the teeth into the position that physiologically correct for your head and neck and posture.
The Controlled Arch System
Dr. Frey utilizes the Controlled Arch System to rehabilitate your mouth. By utilizing the Controlled Arch System, Dr. Frey can reposition your jaw in a physiologically balanced position, reducing pain and correcting your bite. The Controlled Arch Approach develops the jaw first and then moves the teeth to fit the jaw placement, rather than the reverse.
Anterior Guided Growth Appliances
Also referred to as AGGA, the Anterior Guided Growth Appliance is used to correct damage done due to a misaligned jaw and a bad bite. There are two different types of anterior guided growth appliances: fixed (FAGGA) and removable (RAGGA). Both growth appliances meet the same goal, but the logistics are where they differ.
- Fixed: this growth appliance is the best treatment option for adults who suffer from sleep apnea, breathing issues, and most commonly, severe TMJ. FAGGA is able to open the airways by expanding the upper jaw, allowing for relief for breathing. FAGGA may also improve facial appearances as well.
- Removable: this growth appliance is best recommended for children who have yet to grow their full set of adult teeth. This appliance works much like a retainer, however instead of keeping the teeth in place, it expands the jaw similarly to a palate expander. This creates enough space in the mouth for the child’s adult teeth to erupt without overlap.
To see FAGGA results, view photo set below.
Who is a Good Candidate for Anterior Guided Growth Appliances?
Of course the best way to know if you are a candidate for AGGA is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Frey. However, if you have experienced any of the following, you may be suited for an AGGA:
- Struggled with sleep apnea
- Discomfort while chewing
- Jaw pain
- Severe TMJ
- Bad posture due to jaw alignment
- Dissatisfaction with facial structure
How Neuromuscular Orthodontics Work
Who will benefit from neuromuscular orthodontics?
After Dr. Frey has located the patient’s most relaxed, natural jaw position through use sophisticated medical equipment, the job is to now make that position permanent, curtailing the need for the temporary orthotic device. This is what we call Phase 2 of our TMJ disorder treatment. Once you’re completely comfortable with your new bite, Dr. Frey may recommend either a restorative, cosmetic dental procedure or orthodontics to sustain the results of your TMJ treatment. If your teeth need to be moved to attain the proper bite alignment, orthodontics may be best for Phase 2.
How long will I need to wear my Braces to Correct TMJ?
There is no set duration for your orthodontic treatment. This is unique to every patient and depends on the amount the teeth need to be moved to attain the proper alignment. We like to accomplish everything within 14-and 24 months. Each person is different so it will vary.
Will this permanently relieve my TMJ symptoms?
Orthopedic or Neuromuscular Orthodontic movement, will many times make the patient’s TMJ disorder symptoms resolve completely or diminish greatly. This is because the jaw muscles no longer need to work harder to maintain a stable jaw position.
What happens after my braces are taken off?
Just as with teenage orthodontics, keeping the teeth in place after they have been moved is crucial to long-term neuromuscular orthodontic success. Because orthopedic orthodontics is a place that is in harmony with the muscles of the jaw, and the jaw joint, retainers are not needed long term.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are suffering from jaw pain then you might have TMJ but don’t worry, we’re here to help! Call (310) 276-4537 to schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills TMJ Dentist, Dr. Frey.