Accurate Diagnostics and Relief from TMJ pain
Benton Family Dentistry combines the “best of both worlds” for patients in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the greater Diamond Lakes region. Dr. Kyle Benton has invested in advanced dental technologies, while Dr. B and his team are personally invested and committed to the well-being and comfort of every patient.
Technology is fundamental to prompt and effective diagnosis and treatment of many oral and maxillofacial conditions, including temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD).
Each TM joint (TMJ) resides on the side of your face. They connect the jaw to the skull and support many essential functions. When these joints become injured, inflamed, or swollen, patients may experience chronic headaches and migraines, an aching jaw, jaw clicking and popping, earaches, lockjaw, or stiffness that interferes with essential, healthy function.
These symptoms may arise due to problems with your “bite” or the relationship between the opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws. Your bite may be off due to untreated misalignment as the jaws developed, or even old or worn dental restorations such as crowns. TMJD may also be rooted in conditions ranging from arthritis to previous trauma to the jaw or habits and behaviors such as chronic bruxism (teeth grinding), clenching, or gum chewing.
Dr. B’s extensive knowledge of oral and maxillofacial anatomy and function is complemented by sophisticated diagnostic technologies, which provide insights into the nature and source of your TMJ issues. These technologies include:
- Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA™) – Using this system, the vibrations generated by the joint and other components, such as bone and cartilage, are recorded. We can quantitatively evaluate the health and state of the joints in just seconds, which informs accurate diagnosis and treatment that is effective at resolving pain, impaired mobility, and other TMJ symptoms.
- Electromyography (EMG) – Characterized as “electronic muscle graphing,” Dr. B painlessly and non-invasively measures the jaws and muscles statically (when “at rest”) and dynamically (when in “motion”). In turn, we can optimally assess the relationships between the teeth and muscles and “track” pinpointed imbalances before, during, and after treatments to see how they alter muscle function.
- T-Scan Occlusal Analysis – An alternative to outdated and inferior “manual” measurements of “bite” (how upper and lower teeth contact when biting down). The cutting-edge digital T-Scan NOVUS system precisely quantifies the balance of the bite and other indicators like forces generated and timing. It is beneficial when gathering data about the effect restorations and other dental work have on the relationships among teeth.
Using a combination of the results of these diagnostic technologies along with his training and expertise, Dr B works with each patient to develop a personalized treatment recommendation for them. Treatment recommendations may include a single recommendation or a combination of the following:
- Physical therapy or targeted exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles and release tension
- An oral appliance called a splint to help alleviate discomfort of teeth, muscles and joints by balancing forces, calming muscle activity and allowing the joint(s) to remain in a stable position.
- Hot or cold therapy
- Muscle relaxants and/or other medications may be appropriate
Just as there are many causes of TMJDs, there are many options for treatment that are tailored precisely to your needs. Often, patients can get relief without invasive surgical treatments.
Free yourself of chronic TMJ pain-Call (501) 623-6132 to schedule your appointment at Benton Family Dentistry or schedule an appointment conveniently on this website.