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TENS and K-7

TENS machineAs an LVI dentist, Dr. Wagner has advanced training in the treatment of TMJ dysfunction. His training and tools allow him to provide neuromuscular therapies that can alleviate migraines, headaches, clenching, back pain, earaches, and other problems.

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 that flushes toxins from the area. After less than an hour, the relaxed jaw muscles find their ideal positioning.

Next, we diagnose the problem with our K-7 computerized mandibular scanning unit, which records the proper alignment of the jaw and creates digital models of the teeth. With a magnet and sensor, the K-7 can develop 3D images of the patient’s jaw and mouth. The K-7 also has an electro-myograph to measure electrical activity in the muscles. This allows us to determine whether the jaw’s ideal position decreases muscle activity. Another tool within the K-7 is a sonograph, which measures sounds in the jaw joint. This information tells us if the patient’s jaw joint is damaged and to what extent.

The information we gather with the TENS and K-7 shows us whether a patient has improper jaw alignment so Dr. Wagner can prescribe the appropriate treatment. We begin with conservative therapies, such as a custom oral appliance, and then assess whether further treatment is needed.