Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Are there tmj specialists? Is neuromuscular dentistry a specialty? Are neuromuscular Dentists Headache Specialists?

The answer to all of the above is no. There is no specialty in treatmrnt of TMJ disorders (TMD). Specialties are decided by the American Dental Society and individual state laws. There are however many trained Neuromuscular Dentists who devote a major part of their practice to treating TMJ patients, chronic pain patients, headache patients etc.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is unique in that it uses biomedical instrumentation to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders, TMD, Myofascial pain (MPD) and referred head and neck pain.

Should there be a TMJ or orofcial pain specialty? Absolutely not!

There are often many approaches to dealing with a chronic pain problem involving the teeth and jaws. Research has shown that different approaches can be successful. Creation of a specialty is almost certain to prevent patients from a full choice of therapeutic options. There are many educational and scientific societies dedicated to treating chronic pain. The Alliance of TMD organizations has taken a stand against specialty.

I firmly believe that neuromuscular dentistry is the best method for treating most fuctional disorders of the masticatory system including MPD, TMJ, TMD and occlusion. I will be happy to respond to specific questions on this blog why I believe it is the best approach.

I am a Fellow of ICCMO the group representing Neuromuscular Dentistry but I also go to yearly meetings of the AES or American Equilibration society. I belong to the American Academy of craniofaciall pain and have attended many meetings over the years. I also belong to IACA, the international academy of comprehensive esthetics that combines function and esthetics and I am a Diplomate of the academy of pain management.

Many of these groups overlap and share common goals and ideas and there are also major disagreements between groups as to what is the best treatment.

Almost universally they show great success in treatment.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 9:44 PM

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