The TENS Unit for Improved Treatment of TMJ Disorders
One of the most common procedures used by the neuromuscular dentist to treat the symptoms of temporomandibular disorder or TMD, is the use of electrical muscle stimulation. The stimulation helps to relax the muscles associated with the joint and particularly the teeth that may be suffering from malocclusion or bad bite.
Now a new device has been developed which is a good substitute for older model myotronics products. The J5 Myomonitor TENS module is a direct descendant of the successful J4 module and helps to relax key muscles, increase the range of motion in the jaw joint as well as increase blood circulation in the affected area.
How does the TENS unit actually work in aiding the neuromuscular dentist?
It has been known for a long time that muscle relaxation aids in the treatment of some aspects of TMJ problems. These muscles include those associated with mastication and talking in the jaw area as well as the cervical (neck) muscles. Stimulation of these muscles is not the sole TMJ treatment method, but is usually part and parcel of a package of treatment options that the neuromuscular uses in treating TMJ patients.
The muscle stimulation is usually done by gentle electrical stimulation by a specially designed device. This is where the TENS unit fits in as it is the most up to date electrical stimulator of its generation. The J5 TENS unit is able to provide stimulation simultaneously to four different areas – over the coronoid notch (relax muscles of mastication) and on the Trapezius muscles bilaterally. Each pair of channels can be controlled independently, so the neuromuscular dentist can concentrate muscle relaxation where it is most needed.
The fact that the four sites can be stimulated at the same time, if needed, means that treatment time for this stage of TMJ treatment can be reduced, saving both the dentist and the patient time.
Getting into TENS specifics: how TENS can help the TMJ patient
A trained neuromuscular dentist is well aware of the issues associated by a TMJ disorder and the range of treatment options. Access to a TENS unit will benefit both the dentist as well as the patient by reducing the initial stages of TMJ treatment. The following list gives an idea of the unit’s benefits:
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- It can help to relax key muscles and allow better occlusion
- It can help to relieve muscle spasms and their associated pain symptoms
- It can provide a simple means of taking effective dental impressions and occlusal registration
- It helps to improve the degree of movement in the mandibles
- It increases blood circulation in the affected area.
Better TMJ treatment with TENS
No one would argue with the premise that any tool that cuts down the time to treat TMJ disorders is a good thing. The shorter the treatment time, the faster a patient can recover their former life before their TMJ started to give them pain. The new J5 version of the successful TENS range is a step forward for both dentists and their patients in TMJ treatment.
Training sessions within the ICCMO will help you become comfortable with using the the TENS machine to better treat your TMJ patients.
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