Definition: Precision Jaw Orthopedics
- a dental therapy process designed to precisely orthopedically align the mandible to the maxilla. This necessitates that the maxilla and mandible be developed three dimensionally to ideal proportions functionally determined (not predetermined by structural preconceptions).
WHY?? This technique was developed out of experience and an understanding of the sensitivity of the trigeminal system. It was only with the application of the following techniques in precision jaw orthopedics that I was able to get many medical cases with chronic conditions to resolve. Many seemingly unrelated developmental abnormalities seem to improve over time when the jaw is properly aligned.
The process starts with a thorough medical and dental history that is taken with an understanding and appreciation for the implication of various prior medical conditions toward the cranio-mandibular system. The history is followed and augmented by records different than traditional orthodontics: doing a functional assessment of the patient rather than just static records (traditional orthodontic records includes pictures, study models, and x-rays). Types of functional records may include sleep study, speech assessment, resting position of the mandible, jaw motion analysis, postural skeletal assessment, gait, etc. With a 3 dimensional assessment of jaw function in hand, a 3 dimensional diagnostic splint is fabricated to test the suspected cranio-mandibular abnormality. As time, structure, and function affect function, the splint is rechecked over the appropriate time interval until function stabilizes in an ideal functional relationship.
Only when the ideal functional relationship of the cranio-mandibular is known, can structural changes be instituted. To do otherwise is not likely to achieve precise structural and functional relationships at the conclusion of treatment, a necessity if one strives to achieve high level wellness.