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by Dr. Christian Yaste
During the past few months, a variety of dental publications – including The Profitable Dentist – have published articles about an assessment and treatment system called TruDenta (www.DRSdoctor.com). Introduced in 2011, this system includes objective digital assessment technologies, such as cervical range of motion devices (TruDenta ROM) and force analysis devices (TruDenta Scan), as well as therapeutic modalities such as low level laser, ultrasound, and micro-current stimulation.
Developed based on science and technology derived from sports medicine, rehabilitation and other medical fields, TruDenta allows dentists to get to the heart of the problem that could be causing painful symptoms for many patients: dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction. This dysfunction affects afferent and efferent neurological reactions through the trigeminal cervical nucleus. This is the same "pain control center" for stimuli and referred pain in the muscles and anatomy of the mouth, neck and head areas. When dentists assess these areas and determine that TruDenta treatment can reset engrams of pain and return patients to a balanced state, drug- and needle-free pain relief can be achieved.
But what exactly can a dental force imbalance and dental headache assessment and treatment system like TruDenta do for your practice?
First, it can enable you to relieve the chronic pain of existing patients and new patients looking for conservative treatment of their symptoms. Doing so allows you to differentiate your office in the community and, therefore, increase the value of your practice.
For example, you'll be seen as a cutting edge "oral physician" who utilizes innovative technologies to provide optimal patient care. Your love for dentistry can be rejuvenated, and you'll finally be able to use your education in head and neck anatomy to provide a much needed service.
Combined, this can then help you to attract new patients who want and need your help and are willing to pay for non-invasive treatment that will dramatically improve their quality of life.
Needless to say, the TruDenta system can therefore help you to increase your revenue by engaging patients in care that benefits their long-term oral and overall health. Interestingly, because of the nature of the system's "team driven" implementation, it will enable you to create a profit center that could allow you to blow last year's numbers away. And, by empowering a team approach to patient care, you'll be revitalizing your staff and your practice at the same time.
What's more, providing "dental headache care," or otherwise treating what may well be the underlying cause of a variety of painful conditions, allows you to diversity your service mix by offering a needed and multi-beneficial approach to restoring balance. A balanced dental foundation inherently lends itself to enhancing the longevity of future dental work that's needed since the destructive effects of unbalanced dental forces can be prevented or eliminated.
But perhaps nothing can compare to the feeling of gratification you'll experience from the on-going "thank you's" you'll receive from patients who've finally found relief from their chronic pain symptoms.
Christian Yaste, DDS, is a 1996 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He completed a two-year general practice residency in oral medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Along with his partner, he founded Ballantyne Center for Dentistry in 2001, where they primarily focus on treating adult dental needs, such as cosmetic/reconstruction, sedation and implant dentistry.
For more information abou the TruDenta system, visit www.DRSdoctor.com. To learn more about dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction, order the textbook, Understanding, Assessing & Treating Dentomandibular Sensorimotor Dysfunction by calling 855-770-4002.
In many cases, only dental professionals can help the estimated 80 million Americans suffering from the painful symptoms caused by improper dental forces, called dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction (DMSD).
READ MORE "...it is imperative to include the training for orofacial pain, particularly those from temporomandibular joint and musculoligamentous tissues.” JADA Cover Story, 10/2015, Vol. 146, Issue 10, Pg. 721-728
20% of your existing patients suffer from DMSD, as do 20% of all Americans. Your team members quickly assess patients for "red flags" (which indicate DMSD), utilizing TruDenta's patented technologies.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that over 80 million Americans suffer from one or more of the symptoms of DMSD, including:
• Chronic Headache
TruDenta uses digital force measurement technology, powered by Tekscan®, for evaluating the amount of bite force that is present during closure, at closure, and while chewing. The technology is so advanced that it actually calculates the bite force and motion on a tooth-by-tooth basis. This digital exam literally shows a movie of the bite force in action revealing abnormal forces in the nerves, muscles and ligaments that are often the cause of symptoms.
Bite balance is also calculated to identify potential issues within the overall chewing system. READ MORE
A normal opening for an adult is 53 mm to 57 mm. Limited or restricted range of motion (less than 40 mm) is a reduction in an individual’s ability for normal range of movement. Along with opening movement, an individual should be able to slide their jaw to the left and to the right at least 25 percent of their total mouth opening in a symmetrical fashion.
When restricted movement exists, an imbalance in the system is present, and breakdown of the system is likely to occur. READ MORE
The TruDentaROM is a system of hardware and software that digitally measures cervical range of motion (ROM) impairment based upon AMA guidelines. This directly affects the proprioceptive feedback system of the dental occlusion, TMJ, and the muscles of mastication.
ROM impairment is another “red flag” which assists doctors in accurately diagnosing symptoms that are often dental force related. This data enhances medical insurance collections and the collaboration with referring medical doctors. READ MORE
A typical case requires less than one hour of doctor time in the diagnosis and minor occlusal adjustments during the rehabilitation period.
Treatments are performed by a trained team member once per week, in less than one hour. The most severe cases require 12 treatments. Therapies are spa-like, non-invasive and require no drugs or needles. Most patients report dramatic results after the very fist treatment. Note: The majority of patients utilize an orthotic only during the treatment period, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. READ MORE
The goal of therapeutic ultrasound treatment is to return circulation to sore, strained muscles through increased blood flow and heat. Another goal is to break up scar tissue and deep adhesions through sound waves.
Therapeutic exposure to ultrasound reduces trigger point sensitivity and has been indicated as a useful clinical tool for managing myofacial pain. Additionally, ultrasound also has been shown to evoke antinociceptive effects on trigger points. READ MORE
Sub-threshold microcurrent stimula¬tion reduces muscle spasm and referral pain through low electrical signal. It also decreases lactic acid build-up and encourages healthy nerve stimulation. In particular, microcurrent electrotherapy has been shown to help increase mouth opening significantly.
• Reduces muscle spasm and referral pain through low electrical signal
• Decreases lactic acid build-up
• Encourages healthy nerve stimulation
• Increases mouth opening significantly
Low level laser/light therapy is one of the most widely used treatments in sports medicine to provide pain relief and rehabilitation of injuries. Over 200 randomized clinical trials have been published on low level laser therapy, half of which are on pain.
Low level laser/light therapy decreases pain and inflammation, accelerates healing of muscle and joint tissue 25 to 35 percent faster than without treatment, and reconnects neurological pathways of nerves to the brain stem, thereby inhibiting pain. READ MORE