Its been a few years since I've been on Healthboards, so I wanted to give everyone an update. I'm sorry I haven't done this sooner.
First of all, I just want to share my experience with neuromuscular dentistry. I am not implying that it won't work for you, but I just want to say it didn't work for me and my tmd journey is still continuing.
In March of 2010, I flew out to see an ICCMO dentist - this dentist use K7, TENS and EMG's to figure out where my bite was and to fabricate a removable splint. After the visits, I'd feel better, not 100%, but better.... literally a couple of weeks later, I went back to square one, so I flew down again and again for a period of 6 months. We discussed phase 2 to see if that would help... I was given the option of braces or crowns. Well, knowing that braces would take years and require monthly adjustments (more flight expense), I opted for crowns on my lower teeth in later 2010. Didn't help. I went back to crown my upper right rear molar in April of 2011 and that didn't help.
So, being on FB groups that heavily marketed GNM "gneuromuscular" dentistry - not just "neuromuscular", but neuromuscular including gnathological principles, using the exact same equipment (K7, EMG and TENS) and being told that its all in the clinician's use of the equipment and knowhow, I figured that the person I saw from ICCMO didn't use the equipment correctly. So then, I went to see an LVI "master" in late 2011 who put me in a fixed splint. same thing happened - after a couple of weeks, symptoms came back. He removed the fixed spling after 2 months because permanent bite changes could occur and told me if I wanted to keep it in, I would have to pay for phase 2 upfront, $40k, and proceed with their full mouth reconstruction. I ran the heck away from that. I was given a removable splint that didn't do anything for me.
After both experiences, thinking about what was told to us in a private FB group...saying they know more than what LVI does, and there's much more to NM than what LVI and ICCMO dentists know, guess what I did... I flew, yet again,to see an GNM dentist in March of 2012. Same thing happened - felt good for two weeks, then whammo - back to square one. WTH! I went back to this dentist 3 times for adjustments and after the last one, I was done with this NM/GNM theory of treatment.... I asked why I had to keep coming back, and you know what - I was given the same old story over and over - my jaw is coming down and more forward.
I read up about splints from a Utah TMJ dentist. He says that after a couple of weeks, the condyles go back to where they began and muscles engram themselves... not sure if this is true, but I've been searching for a reason why the splints would work for just two weeks.
Anyhow, I am not opposed to any form of treatment - splint therapy, surgery, braces, NM/GNM, etc. I just want everyone to know that after almost 3 years of NM/GNM and $27,000 (not including travel expenses) later, it did not work for my case. I've been told that I didn't give it a long enough time with the GNM dentist... really? C'mon. I also don't want to be put into the category that just because I haven't gone back, I'm doing better. I'm not.
One of the things I've learned from some of the dear friends I've met that are inflicted with TMD and some who have had surgery, or much worse off than I - the state of your discs are so important. You can be functioning on retrodiscal tissue, or no discs, or you may have perforated discs, or necrosing condyles... these are serious problems and the ONLY way to see your tmj discs is through an MRI, not an xray, or CT scan. Most of the dentists (doesn't matter what theory they go by - Centric Relation, Neuromuscuar or Gneuromuscular) do not take this into account - most of the time surgeons do. None of the dentists I've had ever said to get this checked out and I know of some friends of mine who were told that basically it doesn't really matter....just the positioning of the condyles. In some of our cases, it does and has to be addressed. Also, if you do get a CT scan - have a radiologist, not the dentist, give you the info what they see. I had a ICAT performed with the GNM dentist - it was read by the dentist and not much info was given about anything, except for where and how the condyles looked and translated. I am in a completely different type of tmd therapy now - ALF expansion. They did not perform an MRI either, but they did have me go to an imaging center and have another ICAT done.... an oral/maxillofacial radiologist/surgeon read it... so much more information was provided than I have ever received before.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Out of a respect for the dentists I've seen, I will not disclose their names nor their locations.
Again, this is just my experience, my story... GNM / NM / LVI / OC might work for you....
Thank you for listening.
The following user gives a hug of support to hapachik: MountainReader (03-04-2013)
Re: NM/GNM - LVI, ICCMO and GNM did not work for me.
Thanks for sharing your story with us.
I actually wore a lower mandibular repositioning splint for 26 months. I was better at the 3-6 month mark, but couldn't afford to move forward sooner and I refused to wean off it because I knew my original issues would come back. Before discussing the Phase II options, my orthodontist actually did another 3d cone beam CT scan to check on the positioning of my discs and condyles .
I tried one of those 2 week splints and it did nothing for me. I think I actually went to that UT dentist you read up about splints on and his approach did not address my personal tmjd issues.
In fact I've tried the NTI-type splints 3 times now and even with a good fit they pretty much made things worse.
Personally, I'm not sold that the discs can ever be back to 'normal'. I just want good function and reduction in pain and symptoms. I'm in the process of achieving that. I'm hoping to finish phase II in the next 6 months and will know more on the 'success' then. I chose braces as my phase II.
My choice for treatment was a Functional Orthodontist with master level training in orofacial pain and tmjd treatment training from the Institute of Advanced TMJ Studies. He is also a biologic dentist who practices whole health dentistry. Basically, he looks at the health of the whole body as it relates to the bite and teeth.
Re: NM/GNM - LVI, ICCMO and GNM did not work for me.
Hi Mountain Reader! There are so many theories on tmd treatment, it can make your head spin! Themain thing is that you are feeling better. Phase 2 is supposed to keep your bite positioned as it was with the splint in phase 1. My previous GNM dentist said that patients should be symptom free in phase 1, splint therapy and the splint is supposed to fix everything, therefore making you symptom free. I never got there in almost three years of being in these NM splints. I hope you are. Keep us posted on your progress.