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TMJ-temporomandibuar joint diagnostic and therapies with bite guards

What is a functional analysis and why is it important?

Clinical studies have shown that at least 10% of the population have a dysfunction of the mouth- jaw and facial area. We refer to this as canio-mandibular-dysfunction (CMD = TMJ).

This CMD may have already caused painful symptoms or have remained undetected. Our purpose is to discover the cause and to eliminate the pain, or to recognize possible dysfunctions before they result in damage to the joints of the jaw.

We differentiate between the clinical and the instrumental functional analysis.

The clinical functional analysis is a method of arriving at a dental and orthodontal diagnosis. The instrumental functional analysis gives us individual results for the mandibular movements of a specific patient. It is used mainly when extensive provisional work is being considered.

Both types of analyses offer us diverse information, such as the position of the jaws relative to each other, muscle tone, structural condition of the joints, the agility of the mandibular joints and their position, as well as th functional modus of the teeth.

The functional analysis helps to locate the causes of acute pain in the jaw-joint area, as well as muscular and facial pain. Once we have these results, we can begin with whatever therapy is necessary.

Dysfunctions can have many causes. Because of this, the close cooperation between the dentist, physical therapist, orthopedist, ostheopathe and orthodontist is especially important in order to diagnose and treat existing dysfunctions.

Part of the instrumental measures which are part of the functional analysis are computer-supported methods of registration. In our practice, the instrumental functional analysis is performed with the ARCUSdigma2, belonging to company KAVO.

Arcus Digma 2

3D ultrasonic gage

Arcus Digma 2 is a 3D ultrasonic gage.

This gage offers us many advantages:

With it, all movements of the individual patient's mandibula are measured three-dimensionally and recorded. This enables us to measure and record the movements of the jaw-joints, their position and the centric occlusion (occlusion = contact between upper- and lower jaw, centric = articulated joints are in central position).


This method of registry additionally makes it possible for us to use the individually-measured and recorded results in order to perfect the creation of extensive restorations.

In addition, we can use this data for creating occlusional aids.

In the treatment of CMD, it enables us to recognize and treat diseases affecting the jaw.

Bite guard

This is a vinyl tray, individually fitted to your teeth. After taking an impression of the upper- and lower jaw, as well as taking an individual functional analysis, this tray is constructed in the dental lab. There are different forms of trays to fit the the varying therapeutic needs of our patients. We differentiate between bite guards with regard to their position, that is, for the upper- or lower jaw, as well as trays for diverse therapeutic needs. The therapeutic purposes include the following conditions:

  1. 1. Existence of CMD, for example, muscle pains, pains in the joints of the jaw, painful "cracking" of these joints.
  2. 2. Strong abrasion of the tooth's hard substance.
  3. 3. Grinding or clenching of teeth.
  4. 4. Before extensive restorative measures (for example, when it is necessary to change the position of the lower jaw for therapeutic reasons).
  5. 5. Before the onset of a systematic, complete occlusal adjustment. (This means that, after a functional analysis has been made, the sources of irritation on existing fillings or provisions can be recognized. To successfully eliminate these in the future, the tray is used as "simulation".
  6. Snoring.
  7. Mouth-protection in sports

Our goals during treatment with a bite guard are: continuous elimination of pain, relaxation of all oral and facial muscles, getting-used-to the new, therapeutic position of the lower jaw with regard to extensive restorative measures, relieving the structures of the jaw, protecting the tooth's substance or that of a prosthetic reconstruction when there is grinding or clenching teeth.