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Neuromuscular Dentistry


Neuromuscular dentistry has been utilized for over 30 years in countries like Japan and Italy. Dr. Koeppel has been using this treatment in his practice for over 10 years. He is one of the handful of dentists that actually have this technology in his office. As a neuromuscular dentist, when a patient comes into his office with TMJ/TMD pain, he begins with a through exam of each muscle and joint in the face, neck, and shoulders. He also looks at postural position and asks an array of symptomatic questions to get to the root of the problem.


Until recently, most dentistry has been based on the assumption that wherever your bite was naturally was the correct position. Today, most dental treatments are still planned from the patients existing or habitual occlusion.


Because the habitual jaw position may be a reasonably good position, and because our body system is often adaptable to less than ideal circumstances, many of these procedures have acceptable results. However, many times this does not work out as planned.


Dr. Koeppel, as a neuromuscular dentist, seeks harmonious relationships between your jaw, teeth, muscles, and joints in the correct neuromuscular position, to help alleviate headaches, neck pain, dizziness, muscle and joint pain.







TMD Pain Cycle Could Be Debilitating


When Dr. Koeppel diagnoses a patient with TMD, he begins by taking models of their teeth, and then studies the habitual or existing occlusion. The next time the patient comes in, he will use a machine called the K-7 to read muscle tension.



Computer Data Collection Equiptment – K-7


 When muscles are functioning they generate tiny electrical signals. These signals can be detected through electrodes adhered to the skin. This painless procedure is called electromyography. It requires placing small adhesive electrodes on the skin over various muscles groups. This electrical signal generated by the muscles is displayed on the computer and recorded through a system called myotronics.


Muscle Relaxation Unit –TENS Unit

After the initial records are taken, the muscles need to be relaxed to find the ideal biting occlusion. The way Dr. Koeppel achieves muscle relaxation is by use of the TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) machine.
A device called the myomonitor is a battery operated electrical muscle stimulator. Mild electrical stimulation is delivered through adhesive electrodes attached to the skin over muscle sites and nerves that control specific muscle groups. The stimulus delivered by the myomonitor will cause the facial and jaw muscles to twitch or pulse once every one and one half seconds. This releases the toxins out of the muscles and restores them to good function.  “This allows us to take a true bite relationship where the muscles are in the most relaxed position,” says Dr. Koeppel.

Once the muscles are relaxed and Dr. Koeppel has determined the jaw position that corresponds to neuromuscular occlusion, he needs to record this position physically. The record is done through a process called bite registration. This is done by placing a fast setting putty like material between the teeth, and then guiding the jaw to the desired neuromuscular position using the K-7 and the tens device. As the putty begins to harden, it is removed from the mouth and placed on the models Dr. Koeppel previously took, where it hardens all the way. Dr. Koeppel then sends this information to his lab, where an orthotic (bite realigning appliance) is fabricated, and is then worn to reposition the bite to alleviate pain and other symptoms associated with TMD, and to correct the bite before continuing with more advanced treatments. This method of treatment allows Dr. Koeppel to alleviate the symptoms of TMD without medication.




Call our office at (631) 318-0000 to arrange a consult with Koeppel Dental Group to learn more about neuromuscular dentistry and temperomanibular disfunction. You can also use our Consult Request form to arrange an appointment.


Patients seeking specific answers or information related to the material on this page can also choose to contact Koeppel Dental Group directly with our Ask The Dentist form. Our Doctors will reply to you directly with the information you are seeking.