Bite plate therapy
This bite plate has been prescribed to help resolve the symptoms discussed in the initial diagnosis. The biteplate is useful in 2 situations; myofacsial dysfunction and internal derangement which includes condylar malposition or degenerative changes. Myofascial dysfunction deals with the muscles of mastication and is associated with soreness/tenderness on the side of the face and could include headaches on the sore side. It may be associated with grinding, clenching and bruxing. Internal derangement is associated with osseous changes, soft tissue changes and condylar malposition within the capsule. Clicking, popping,locking ,headaches and muscular soreness can be associated with internal derangements.
Initially biteplate/splint treatment is directed towards alleviation of pain-dysfunction symptoms and understanding the true relationship between the maxilla - the upper jaw, and the mandible - the lower jaw. The biteplate/splints purpose is to relax the musculature and resolve the inflammatory changes within the joint capsule. It also allows remodeling to occur if there has been some previous degenerative changes within the joint. Only in this last respect is the bite plate not an entirely reversible therapeutic procedure.
In many cases the way the teeth come together – the occlusion can contribute to and exacerbate the symptoms that you are experiencing. Therapy at this office is based on a conservative approach. Specifically the appliance used is a specially made hard bite plate that is worn on the maxillary teeth and designed to remove the teeth from occlusion. In addition in internal derangement it also acts as an orthopedic appliance. I like to make the analogy to a pair of crutches for knee and hip problems. It relieves the pressure on the condyle/tmj complex and allows a process of healing. The advantage of the appliance is that it can be adjusted as the tissues, muscles or condyle reposition. Adjustment can range from grinding the biting surface of the appliance to thickness adjustemnt. At no time is the occlusion modified or are the teeth morphology modified.
Treatemnt time can range from a couple of weeks to a number of months. The appliance is worn at night and at home. For those with more severe problems greater wear would be required. At 2 week intervals adjustment s are made. Once the plate has resolved the initial problems a new set of records is taken to aid in the diagnosis of what treatment options are available to eliminate the need for a plate.
For this office there is an initial visit, called a limited problem focused exam that includes a special x-ray - a double pa lat. This is a separate fee from the actual bite plate. The fee for the bite plate therapy includes the fabrication, adjustments at 2 week intervals and maintenance of the appliance due to normal wear for 1 year. If therapy extends beyond a year there is a yearly maintenance fee. When new records are taken there is a separate fee.