Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jaw Tracking Technology Is NOW Being Realized in Dentistry

by Clayton A. Chan, D.D.S., M.I.C.C.M.O.

The leaders in the dental profession are finally recognizing the importance of objective occlusal measurement instrumentation four decades after Dr. Bernard Jankelson’s pioneering work. In 1966, Dr. Jankelson risked his professional reputation for what he believed would change the future of dentistry.

Myotronics-Noromed's computerized electro-diagnostic technology has shown a history of consistency and innovation in producing quality jaw tracking technology that measures the movements of the human jaw (circa 1970). It is with this technology that the dentist can determine an optimal physiologic bite position. It is an occlusal/bite position that provides a starting point of occlusal treatment for all treating clinicians. Without a specific bite position, all measuring diagnostic aids are only aids to diagnose, but what about the occlusal treatment position, especially those restorative dentists who take that next step beyond initial diagnosis?

CMS Sensor Array by Myotronics-Noramed, Inc., Kent, Washington

Objective diagnostics are a critical component to the overall examination process before any mode of treatment begins. Joint vibration/sound can measure joint sounds. EMGs can measure muscle activity, but what about the bite position? Once the diagnostic process has been completed it should lead the treating dentist to a basic conclusion as to where a jaw position should relate to the upper cranial base (maxilla). Recording EMGs may record the amplitude activity of muscles, but is not definitive enough for the dentist to determine a therapeutic condylar/disc position for the mandible, especially for those cases with joint derangement problems.

Certain diagnostic aids are more meaningful to me than others when it comes to specific occlusal treatment in both a phase I (stabilization) or a phase II (finishing) mode of treatment, i.e. restorative dentistry.
Today, electrosonography (ESG)/joint vibration analysis (JVA) has been a favorite to many who have focused their attention on joint sound analysis. Although, ESG/JVA technology has validity in identifying joint sounds it has its limitations from a clinical treatment perspective.

Another area of recent focus has been on electromyography (EMGs). This modality has been around since 1980, but few wanted to acknowledge its significance in the early years. Surface EMG is now endorsed and accepted by leaders of all philosophies of occlusion as a valid technology to measure muscle activity and muscle function.
Computerized Mandibular Scanning (CMS) K7 instrumentation, by Myotronics, Inc., is the hallmark of objective measurement devices that has consistently shown credible accuracy in mandibular tracking, allowing the dentist to visualize the jaw position in space. This incredible visualization tool is what I want serious restorative dentists to recognize above all other devices as the modality of choice, giving them the ability to quickly recoup their investment by providing occlusal dental care. This technology has positively changed my professional life for the better and is also changing the landscape of dentistry. ESG and EMG are good diagnostic aids which I also use. TENS is a must to relax spastic muscles. CMS is a must for any clinician serious about optimizing the patient's bite position prior to completing a full mouth /TMD rehabilitation.

Our dental profession is taking notice!!!

Disclosure Note: Dr. Chan does not have any financial interest in, and is not paid by Myotronics-Noromed, Inc. to write his views about their technology.

Neuromuscular Dentistry