Join Date: Feb 2009
NM/GNM - LVI, ICCMO and GNM did not work for me.
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.