Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Results of a Survey of Practitioners Using Computerized Measurement Devices

Cooper, BC, Parameters of an Optimal Physiological State of the Masticatory System: The Results of a Survey of Practitioners Using Computerized Measurement Devices, J. Craniomandibular Practice, 22:3, pp. 220-233, July 2004

While bioelectronic instruments have been available for nearly 30 years to assist dentists in day-to-day evaluations of patient’s masticatory systems, little guidance has been published to support physiological norms or ideals. An electronic questionnaire was developed and administered to an international group of dentists familiar with the use of bioelectronic instrumentation. Respondents were asked to provide feedback on the norms or ideal parameters of jaw movement, masticatory muscle function with electromyography, and joint sounds through electrosonography that they use in guiding evaluation and treatment of patients with temporomandibular disorders , neuromuscular occlusion, and orthodontics. Surveys were collated to determine areas of consensus. Out of 150 surveys, 55 responses were received from dentists representing nine different countries. Sixty percent of the respondents reported treating more than 150 cases in the past five years using bioelectronic testing. While experience ranged from 2-30 years with the different types of devices, average experience was longer with mandibular/jaw tracking (mean 15.3 years) and electromyography (mean 14.1 years) than with electrosonography (mean 7.0 years). Parameters proposed as norms or ideals for electromyographic rest and clench values, and mandibular tracking (velocity, freeway space, and trajectory to closure) were very consistent. Although a smaller number of respondents reported utilization of electrosonography, their criteria for data significance and tissue-type genesis of joint sounds were consistent. While the intra-patient variability may limit the use of bioelectronic instruments, the current study demonstrates that through decades of experience, dentists have independently arrived at very consistent definitions of an ideal physiology that can be used to guide treatment.

The role of bioelectric instrumentation in the documentation of management of temporomandibular disorders

Cooper, Barry C. (1997) The role of bioelectric instrumentation in the documentation of management of temporomandibular disorders. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 83:1, pp 91-100.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) can affect the form and function of the temporomandibular joint, masticatory muscles and dental apparatus. Electronic measurement of mandibular movement and masticatory muscle function provides objective data that are defined by commonly accepted parameters in patients with TMDs; these data can then be used to design and monitor therapy and enhance treatment therapy. In this study, data on 3681 patients with TMD are presented, including electronic test data on 1182 treated patients with TMDs. Electronic jaw tracking was used to record mandibular movement and to compare the presenting and therapeutic dental occlusal positions.

Electromyography was used to analyze the resting status of masticatory muscles and occlusal function at presentation and after therapeutic intervention. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy relaxed masticatory muscles and aided in the determination of a therapeutic occlusal position. The data show a positive correlation between the clinical symptoms of TMD and the presenting occlusion, accompanied by muscle activity. A strong positive correlation also appears to exist between a therapeutic change in the dental occlusion to a neuromuscularly healthy position with use of a precision orthotic appliance and the significant relief of symptoms within 1 month and at 3 months.

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