Mouthguards are a very common prescribed treatment for TMJ disorder/TMD, and while they are great for keeping your teeth safe while playing sports, they are woefully unable to help most people suffering from chronic jaw and head pain caused by TMD. Here at Advanced Dental Arts NW, we instead use DTR (Disclusion Time Reduction) therapy to identify the source of the problem and solve it with extreme precision to provide a lifetime of relief instead of lacking, temporary alleviation. So, why is DTR therapy so superior compared to mouthguards when it comes to TMJ treatment in Portland? You can find out exactly why below.
Here’s a situation you may be familiar with. A patient walks into a dentist’s office complaining of jaw pain and headaches, and after a quick exam, the dentist determines they are dealing with TMJ disorder. The dentist knows this has something to do with the position of the teeth and how they come together to form the bite, so they take an impression using carbon paper, a downright ancient method compared to the rest of the technology in the office. This is then used to design a mouthguard, which is supposed to put the jaw into a more natural and relaxed position, thus relieving the pain.
While this situation plays out countless times in dental offices across America every day, that doesn’t make it right. There are several serious issues, such as:
Here’s a new scenario: a patient with untreated TMD walks into a dentist’s office who offers DTR therapy. After listening to the patient, the dentist uses state-of-thea-rt computers to evaluate their bite and measure the position of their teeth, which reveals how they touch and how this activates the muscles of the jaw down to the finest details. Unlike a static impression, this form of occlusal analysis shows how the bite works in real time while in motion, and multiple graphs and readouts are generated, allowing the dentist to easily see where the teeth are not lining up and how this may lead to strain in the adjacent muscles.
Using this information, the dentist then makes minor adjustments to the teeth so that the bite comes together smoothly and properly. As a result, the muscles of the jaw do not overwork and stay relaxed. Not only is the pain gone, but it stays gone, and a patient does not have to do anything else besides enjoy their newfound relief! That is what can be expected when pursuing DTR therapy.
The scene above is one that has played out many times here at ADANW, and it clearly shows us some of the biggest advantages of DTR therapy compared to mouthguards:
If you were taking your car to a mechanic, would you want them to just look up how to fix it on the internet, or would you rather they use the latest technology and computers to evaluate and repair your engine with confident expertise? With one, all you can do is hopefor a positive shot in the adrk, but with the other, you are guaranteed to know exactly what is wrong and get what you need to address it. Thisis the same as the difference between mouthguards and DTR therapy, and in the end, there really is no comparison!
About the Author
Dr. Russ Teasdale is a highly experienced TMJ dentist in Portland who has been practicing since 1981, and he is the only one in the area who is trained and certified to provide DTR therapy. If you have been diagnosed with TMD and have not found relief using a mouthguard, you are far from alone, and Dr. Teasdale is more than ready to help. To learn more about DTR therapy and how it can provide lasting relief for chronic head and neck pain, contact ADANW today to schedule an appointment.