At the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit, we are constantly innovating and introducing new treatments to help our patients achieve the results they are looking for in the best possible way.
One of our recent additions is Myoaligner, a new, non-invasive approach to treating temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ / TMD).
What Is Myoaligner?
Myoaligner is a new noninvasive way of treating TMJ. It uses a different style of aligner than clear orthodontic aligners. Instead, Myoaligner is made of several separate pieces that fit discreetly into your mouth. These aligners fit over your teeth, reshaping them to encourage them to fit together in certain ways.
The aligners work to hold the upper and lower teeth in the proper relation to each other. This helps the jaw stay in a comfortable position, but lets the jaw move freely for biting, chewing, talking, and other essential functions.
How Myoaligner Works
Your jaw is a dynamic, integrated system. Your teeth, muscles, joints, nerves, and more work together to perform jaw functions. The muscles move the jaw, but where it can move the jaw is limited by many factors, such as the position of the joints, the shape of the teeth, and more.
TMJ occurs when there is some type of mismatch between the different components of the system. The muscles, for example, achieve maximum relaxation at one particular position, while the shape of the teeth prevents the jaw from resting in that position. Or, potentially, the tension in the jaw is best relieved at a certain position, but the teeth don’t allow the jaw to achieve or stabilize at that position.
This mismatch leads to TMJ symptoms like jaw pain, popping and clicking of the jaw joints, teeth wear, and more.
Myoaligner is a single aligner or a set of aligners that fit over your teeth, reshaping them to foster a healthy jaw position that accommodates all the parts of the jaw system.
A New Application of a Proven Concept
The Myoaligner treatment builds on a concept that neuromuscular dentists have been using for decades. Because the teeth help determine the way that the jaw fits together, reshaping the teeth can be used to encourage a healthy jaw position.
In the past, however, this was done using expensive cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry. This can be relatively invasive, sometimes altering healthy teeth as well as those that had been damaged by TMJ problems. It also causes permanent changes to the teeth.
Myoaligner lets us achieve the results of this approach without permanently altering the teeth. Not only is this less expensive, but it also lets you maintain your natural teeth. This is a fully invasive, non-surgical, drug-free TMJ treatment.
Later, we can decide if we want to perform durable changes to your teeth to maintain positive results.
What Myoaligner Can Treat
Myoaligner is a versatile treatment for TMJ-related symptoms. It can help if you experience:
- Limited jaw movement
- Popping and clicking of the jaw
- Sore jaw muscles or joints
- Stiff jaw muscles
- A feeling that upper and lower teeth don’t fit together
- Earache, tinnitus, and vertigo
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
In addition to helping with TMJ symptoms, the manufacturer recommends the use of a Myoaligner for sleep apnea. However, we will evaluate this treatment for you and determine if you might benefit from this or a more traditional oral appliance.
Benefits of Myoaligner
With Myoaligner, you can enjoy many benefits of treatment, including:
- Discreet treatment
- Noninvasive treatment
- Removable appliance
- Rapid results
- Improvement of the facial profile
With Myoaligner, you can treat your TMJ without any visible aligners. There are no hooks, springs, wires, or brackets. There are not even clear plastic aligners that fit over teeth. Instead, the tooth-colored aligners fit over your teeth, almost like temporary removable cosmetic veneers. There are different shades made available for your preference.
Myoaligner treatment is completely noninvasive. We don’t even need to modify your teeth to accommodate the aligners.
Although Myoaligner can be bonded to teeth, often they are worn as removable aligners. You can easily pop them off for oral hygiene, although you might usually leave the durable aligners in place during chewing to provide therapeutic benefit.
Myoaligner delivers results as quickly as any other TMJ bite appliance. Within weeks, even days, you can experience relief from ongoing TMJ symptoms. Often, we will begin with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) session for immediate relief, then use Myoaligner to maintain comfort long-term.
Myoaligner doesn’t just provide improvement of your TMJ and, potentially, sleep apnea, it can also improve your facial appearance, remedying the problem of a weak or receding chin. It can provide facial slimming and elongate your profile.
The Myoaligner Process
The Myoaligner process begins with a comprehensive exam to diagnose TMJ. A neuromuscular dentistry exam often includes the use of TENS to relax the jaw muscles so we can determine the ideal jaw position independent of the coping behaviors your jaw has developed. Once we’ve identified the position that provides the best working relationship between teeth, jaw, muscles, and joints, we can decide whether Myoaligner is a good treatment option for you.
If Myoaligner is right for you, we will order the orthotic. This will be made in the laboratory to a tight tolerance. When it’s ready, we will fit you with the Myoaligner, deciding whether to bond it or leave it as a removable appliance. We might use TENS at the fitting appointment to help with fitting and jaw position.
Once you start wearing your Myoaligner, you’ll experience ongoing relief from your TMJ symptoms. Over time, we’ll decide if Myoaligner is your final treatment or if you want to move on to a phase II treatment, which might involve reconstructive dentistry, orthodontics, or other approaches as appropriate.
Get Myoaligner in Lee’s Summit
If you are looking for relief from TMJ symptoms in Lee’s Summit, Myoaligner might be right for you. Let TMJ dentist Dr. Larry Pribyl or Dr. Jim Kleoppel evaluate your bite to determine if Myoaligner is the best TMJ treatment for you. Please call (816) 795-1000 today or use our online form to schedule an appointment at the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit, MO.