32019Jun
What is Functional Appliance Therapy

What is Functional Appliance Therapy

Routine dental wellness check-ups and proper home care for healthy gum tissues are critical for life long oral health and wellness. However, when you are doing these things and still find yourself with failing dental restorations, breakdown of your tooth structure, bone loss, and gum recession, there may be an underlying jaw relationship malfunction causing imbalance and deterioration of oral stability and whole body wellness.

Conditions like; premature loss of primary teeth, injuries to face and jaw, orthodontic treatment with loss of teeth, and the accumulation of life long repetitive dental treatments, can lead to skeletal structure changes. These changes to the structures can cause imbalances in the force and direction of jaw movement. When there is increased stress on the jaw system this can cause over active muscle tension on the supporting structures, pulling into the neck, back, and shoulders, as well as other supporting structures. Often these jaw relationship issues can be the root cause of chronic headaches or neck and back pain.

TKDDS Functional Appliance Therapy strives to find biologic stability in the jaw, and is suggested to help relieve muscle strain, muscle spasm, tooth pain, temporomandibular joint pain and tooth and periodontal damage from clenching and bruxism (grinding teeth). The purpose of this treatment is to relax various groups of muscles and to provide a degree of pain relief while protecting the teeth from clenching/bruxing forces.

TKDDS Functional Appliance Therapy involves finding the resting position of the jaw and supporting structures. This is done through a diagnostic exam, records of the teeth which record the jaw relationship, and possibly dental radiographs. Once the most stable resting bite is identified a Functional Appliance is made to be worn on the lower teeth. The Functional Appliance positions the jaw where the supporting muscles are most relaxed.  The Functional Appliance is made of Resin Acrylic and clear liner material typically used in orthodontic appliances.

The treatment time of TKDDS Functional Appliance Therapy is approximately 8 weeks. During the first week, at least one return visit is expected to adjust the Functional Appliance which will accommodate the muscle changes you will begin to experience with initial wearing of the appliance. During the second week of treatment, slight movement of teeth and soreness can be expected.  Weekly visits, thereafter, are required to monitor and make any necessary adjustments to the appliance.

No guarantee of complete resolution of symptoms can be made.  However, with Functional Appliance Therapy, you can expect positive changes to your current state and added protection of teeth from wear and chipping while the splint is being worn.

Dr. Laabs has completed training and education specifically focused on Functional Appliance Therapy through the Interdisciplinary Dental Education Academy (IDEA).   For more about Dr. Laabs, please click the following link https://www.tarakaurdds.com/lizlaabs/.  We invite you to ask Dr. Laabs how YOU might benefit from Functional Appliance Therapy today!