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Splint Therapy update and experience with the J5 Myomonitor

June 14, 2011

My gums are not painful now. The splint seems to be already part of my teeth (I can almost ignore it). I love the feeling of empowerment and glad that I have taken care of my teeth well, that until now I do not have any decayed tooth. I do need some filling and scaling, but no decayed teeth.

There is still a little bit of discomfort in my jaw though, due to the adjustment of my bite. I wonder if it will ever go away. I read a few articles that says splint therapy is a waist of time and money and that IMS is better. Not sure if it is the same is the J5 TENS machine. I should have asked more about receiving any of these treatments, but hey! I do not think any treatment is without its risk.

Tens Unit (J5 Myomonitor)
Our initial step in assessing a patient for neuromuscular problems involves use of a low-frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation, or TENS, unit. By delivering small electrical impulses to the muscles responsible for jaw movement, the TENS unit relaxes jaw muscles. This results in increased blood flow to flush toxins from the area. In about an hour, the relaxed jaw muscles are able to find a more stable optimal position.

view from Medical Plaza

My experience with the J5 Myomonitor is quite pleasant and soothing because my dental chair actually faces the window and I can see the Ortigas skyline from where I was sitting. My dentist’s clinic is located at the top floor of Medical Plaza. It uses electrodes and gives an electic shock deep massaging the muscles and helping them to relax. That is the machine she used to make my splint. So that my bite is in postion to when the muscles are relaxed. Once this ‘perfect’ relationship wass pinpointed, a dental impression was taken and the mouth guard was fabricated. The dental impression included, asking me to wear the splint and to bite into something like a carbon paper, so that it marks my teeth (probably proving that my lower and upper teeth are already meeting). They also took another xray on me wearing the splint so see the “before” and “after” treatment TMJ image. Read more here.

Overall it seems my mood has lifted up. The pain in my shoulders, right abdomen (liver/gall bladder) is gone ( and I hope it is gone for good). Although I cannot attribute this to any single factor but a combination of the changes I have made since 24th April

– stopped posting at Alternative Discussion Forums (some of the women there are so toxic, I cannot believe that people I do not know and communicate with via forums can actually cause such ill and negative effects in the psyche). Read about breast cancer bullying here– taking folate and other multivitamins to address my homocysteine levels
– natural progresterone cream during the leuthal phase (day 10-24) of my menstrual period
– eating better than before, chewing my meals properly
– accupuncture (for liver related frozen shoulder)
splint therapy and other TMJ Therapies
– Nanay’s remission and the approval of her long term pass
– saying “no” to extra curricular activities outside the home
– focusing on taking care of myself, Zarah and Nanay

Once my bite is stabilized (by using the splint), our dentist will move on to the next step and permanently adjust my bite to the correct position, by either of the following methods:

Option 1: Coronoplasty/Equilibration
Coronoplasty is smoothing and reshaping the enamel of the teeth to correct your bite. It is a simple procedure that does not require anesthesia and can be used when the bite is only slightly misaligned.

Option 2: Removable Inlay/Overlay Partials
These are permanent orthotics that usually fit over the back teeth and are designed to maintain an aligned bite.

Inlay partials

Option 3: Reconstruction
This approach involves making the teeth higher by using crowns. This permanently realigns the bite and provides structural support for the jaw.

Option 4: Orthodontics (Braces)
When the teeth are healthy they may be moved to the optimal position using braces.

For me, the dentist recommended “inlay partials” not “overlay partials” to maintain an aligned bite, for my Phase 2 TMJ Treatment. I wonder how much this would cost me.

A clinical report regarding “overlay partials”

This clinical report describes the use of maxillary and mandibular overlay removable partial dentures to treat a patient with class III skeletal malocclusion and a posterior open-occlusal relationship. Overlay removable partial denture therapy was used as an alternative to other options such as orthodontics and combined orthodontic/oral surgery procedures; it satisfied the esthetic and functional requirements of the patient and provided a stable occlusion. Overlay removable partial dentures are a reversible and relatively inexpensive treatment for patients with congenital or acquired anomalies, but the potential disadvantages of these prostheses include compromised esthetics when the dentures are removed; caries and periodontal disease as a result of poor oral hygiene; and veneer material fracture, debonding, discoloration, and wear.

The good thing about overlay/inlay partials is that the treatment is reversible, but again , not without its risks. Is the inlay partial better than overlay partial? Not enough comparable study. However, based on this photo, it seems inlay only covers a minimum amount of each and every tooth. For me, it seems better than covering each and every tooth.

The difference between inlays and onlays is based on the amount and type of tooth structure they replace. An inlay covers the tooth structure in between the cusps and is minimal in coverage when compared to an onlay which covers at least one of the cusps of a tooth. Both inlays and onlays allow for more conservation of tooth structure while increasing its strength. Different materials can be used to fabricate an inlay or onlay, ranging from gold to porcelain. Your dentist will decide which material is most suitable for your situation.

Inlays and onlays are similar to full coverage crowns in that they require two visits to the dental office. The first visit consists of preparing the tooth by removing decay and cleaning the remaining portions of the tooth. After the tooth has been prepared and all decay has been excavated, an impression will be taken. The impression is then sent to a lab where a final restoration will be fabricated. A temporary provisional will be made by your dentist for the interim period in between appointments. During your second visit to the office, the dentist will proceed with the delivery of the inlay/onlay. Similar to the second visit of a full coverage crown, the inlay/onlay will be fitted comfortably in the mouth and permanently cemented into place.

I wonder,though. if I can do something to remineralize my teeth, so that the bite will be aligned without the need for either inlay or overlay partials.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 4, 2014 12:53 pm

    hi good day to you. hope you can still read my post.

    Im karen and im also from the Philippines..

    I am currently experiencing this tmj disorder.

    i have a super bad vertigo even after the installation of the splint.

    my lower right abdomen/back abdomen is also aching, which i bet has something to do with my liver. i also have it checked by doing a whole abdomen ultrasound, everything says it normal.

    as u have said on your blog “the pain in my shoulders, right abdomen (liver/gall bladder) is gone ( and I hope it is gone for good).” Do you think that the tmj causes the pain in my abdomen too?

    Was the treatment successful? are still experiencing any kind of pain or symptom of the tmj disorder?

    hope to hear from you… im so scarred right now that this pain and vertigo wont end. i have read a lot of reviews and forums and most of them are still living with pain for years now.

    Need your advice. Thanks

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