Do you have frequent headaches with no apparent cause? Do you sometimes experience ringing in your ears? Does your jaw spontaneously lock or become difficult to move? Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is used to denote a variety of disorders that affect the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is an incredibly complex system that acts as a hinge between your mouth and your skull, and because it is surrounded by several structures, symptoms of this disorder can very significantly.
Some patients with TMJ experience intense pain while eating, some have frequent headaches, and others have more obscure signs like tingling fingers. Such varied symptoms from patient to patient is what makes diagnosis and treatment difficult.
Luckily, with tools as sophisticated as the K-7 evaluation system, dentist can measure different aspects of your jaw function, allowing them to more accurately assess and treat your TMJ.
What is K-7?
The K-7 evaluation system is a mandibular scanner outfitted with multiple sensors to detect jaw misalignment and dysfunction. K-7 is completely non-invasive, comfortable, and able to monitor and record three distinct data that can help your neuromuscular dentist efficiently evaluate the condition of your temporomandibular joint prior to treatment.
What Are the Benefits of the K-7 System?
Because TMJ symptoms vary, and can often mimic several other disorders including Lyme disease, sinusitis, arthritis, and muscle disorders, in order to properly assess and treat the disorder, your dentist needs as much data as possible.
The K-7 system delivers this by measuring three distinct data points:
- Mandibular Scanning
Sensors measuring how your jaw moves, and the rate at which it opens and closes, can provide your dentist with a 3-D display of your jaw, allowing them to calculate the rate of damage that has occurred. It’s especially helpful for identifying joint disc dislocation and unhealthy adaptive biting and chewing motions.
Surface electrodes can record the electrical signals coming from your jaw at rest and in use from up to eight different muscle sites. This helps us pinpoint the source of muscle tension, and it’s great for showing the relief of that tension when your TMJ treatment is complete.
Transducers placed along the jaw can detect the level of clicking and grinding occurring in the joint. It’s very sensitive and can pick up sounds you can’t hear or feel. This can help us determine the rate of deterioration happening over time.
After looking at the K-7 data, your dentist may also utilize imaging techniques such as panoramic x-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI.
The exact form of treatment will depend on your condition, and the specific parameters set between you and your dentist.
If you’re looking for relief from your TMJ symptoms in Wichita Falls, TX, please call 940-322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment at StarImage Dentistry.