When a patient goes to their TMJ doctor, it is vitally important to make sure that certain technologies are used in order to get a good diagnosis and even greater treatment! In this article we will be looking at the merits of the dedicated Tesla coil, the xrays to look at the jaw joints, the digital impression scanner, and the low level laser therapy.
When it comes to getting a really great MRI of your TM joints, it is really important to be sure that the imaging center has a Tesla coil dedicated for this kind of work because it is so sensitive and can allow us to see the articular discs much better than the old technology. In too many cases, the MRI is done with an inferior machine and the reading is simply not that precise. This will often lead to a misdiagnosis and a path of treatment that costs lots of money, time, and frustration.
Another piece of technology in getting proper TMJ treatment involves the right xray equipment. It is important first of all to go with ‘green’ technology- i.e. low dose radiation and three dimensional imaging. The 3-D imaging comes in really handy when the doctor wants to see what’s going on behind and around the corners of various bones, especially the condyle or jaw bone. This information helps when trying to correlate to the findings of the MRI: Do the slipped discs make sense and is that why the jaw bone has shifted in that direction?
A very fun and very special advancement when it comes to doing braces to finish up a TMJ patient is the digital impression system. What this system does is that it basically uses a camera to videotape the teeth and the computer effectively ‘stitches’ all the videos together to show the lab what the teeth look like, instead of the old fashioned putty and tray method. In addition, the digital impressions are so much more accurate than the putty even could be. Then, the braces manufacturer uses a device to ‘cut’ each bracket to the best fit possible for every individual tooth- this means that each bracket is custom made, by hand (the hand of a computer guided laser that is) to the proper tip and torque needed to achieve the best result in the shortest time possible. Think of it like GPS for your trip up to Canada- the computer will design the least difficult, quickest, and most efficient path to get you there.
Let’s not forget to give mention to our old friend, the computer, which has advanced so much in recent years that we have become used to it running on terabytes, not kilobytes, of storage and how fast the processors have become. Without the computer, we could not show the patient the wonderful world of digital xrays and show them how their progress has changed. The computer and all these other technologies have surely changed our world!