K7 Evaluation System
Traditional reconstructive dentistry is based on mechanical concepts that assume that your present bite (occlusion) is best for you. Such dental treatment generally aims to restore your bite to that position – what might be called two-dimensional reconstructive dentistry. Neuromuscular Dentistry takes into consideration a third dimension – the status and function of the muscles that control jaw position, chewing, and swallowing.
Using computerized equipment, Dr. Hart can measure and study the pattern of jaw opening and closing through its full range of motion and in three dimensions. The computer can also document the precise point at which your jaw is being held in relation to the upper teeth and can measure the activity of the key muscles that control the jaw – both in function and at rest. Rather than relying on your present jaw position as being the best one for you, Dr. Hart can use the additional objective information to determine if your jaw position (bite) should be left as is or adjusted to a more optimal position.
The tests are “non-invasive” – there are no injections, there is no pain. To do a Computerized Mandibular Scan (CMS), a tiny magnet is applied to your lower gum with sticky tape. You then wear very lightweight headgear much as you would wear a pair of glasses. Sensors on the headgear precisely follow the path of the magnet as you open and close your mouth and send the three-dimensional information to the computer as your jaw opens and closes.
Muscle activity is monitored with Surface Electromyography (SEMG), a technology very similar to an electrocardiogram. Thin wires are attached to the skin by adhesive patches. Tiny electrical signals emitted by your muscles are detected and sent to the computer.
At some point, Dr. Hart may want to study the sounds of your jaw joints. If so, it is done with Electro Sonography (ESG). You wear a “Walkman” type headset to hold microphone-like sensors over each jaw joint. The sensors detect the joint sound vibrations as you open and close your mouth and transmit the sound data to the computer.
Typically, Dr. Hart will first want to do the CMS, SEMG and/or ESG tests to get your baseline data (record data in your present state). Then you may be connected to the Myomonitor, a mild, battery operated electrical muscle stimulator, again by means of wires attached with adhesive patches. The Myomonitor will painlessly exercise your facial and jaw muscles. This electrically induced exercise will overcome the “programming” of your muscles and allow them to achieve a truly relaxed state. After 40-60 minutes, the same tests will be repeated to gather data in this relaxed state. The baseline and relaxed data are stored in the computer.
Now that your muscles are relaxed, Dr. Hart will confirm and record the relaxed position of your jaw by placing a fast setting putty-like material between your teeth. He can now compare your usual occlusion (bite) with the relaxed jaw position to evaluate if your jaw is presently in a near optimal position and determine whether the occlusion should be adjusted.
There are always options for you to choose from when deciding on dental treatment. After initially evaluating your situation, Dr. Hart will discuss those options with you. Sometimes the options may be as simple as choosing the type of restorative material to use in a filling or crown. Neuromuscular techniques would not be necessary for these relatively simple procedures.
If you are contemplating dental procedures such as reconstruction (including cosmetic dentistry), orthodontics, or dentures, or if you suffer head/neck pain or other “TMJ”-like symptoms, your choice of treatment becomes more important.
Traditional “two dimensional” dental techniques may produce satisfactory results since the human system has considerable ability to accommodate. However, it is in these major cases that establishing the correct occlusion becomes so important. This is when choosing neuromuscular diagnostic techniques might have a positive and long term impact on the outcome of the treatment. Neuromuscular test results give our dentist Dr. Hart added insight – that “third dimension” – that very well may allow him to speed completion and improve the final treatment results.
Is it for you? You should discuss this with Dr. Hart.
During the last decade, clinicians have gained a greater appreciation of the complex relationship between teeth, temporomandibular joints and the muscles of mastication.
Science and clinical experience make it clear that these dynamic factors play a controlling role in the outcome of all dental procedures. However, the necessary technology to objectively measure these interrelationships in everyday practice has either been cost prohibitive or entirely lacking, until now.
The new K7 Evaluation System from Myotronics-Noromed is affordable, comprehensive, and successful. The K7 pioneers the next plateau in dentistry.
The data provided by the K7 often is the missing piece that allows the clinician to fit together the occlusal puzzle. In this way, the full picture of the patient’s need becomes clearer, contributing additional information so the doctor’s diagnosis and treatment can be confidently implemented.