Marci, a slender 70-year-old woman, who was already a patient, told us during one of her cleaning appointments that her jaws were tired and achy. Upon questioning, we discovered that she also had frequent migraine headaches.
Previously Marci had had some relief with an NTI, which she wore to bed each night. However, that had ceased to help her after a couple of years. At this point, we suggested our DTR treatments. She gladly accepted.
She came in for three or four treatments where we hooked her up to a computer-generated measurement device (T-Scan) to measure the intensity with which her teeth were hitting together. Until this measurement device became available for dentists, they would measure with a blue paper. The paper left marks on the teeth where they hit together heavier than their neighboring teeth. However, many people have mobile jaws which makes it hard to get those marking spots correct. Also, there are some tiny interferences that the blue paper doesn’t mark.
The T-Scan measured the intensity and the way the teeth hit together when the jaw slides from side to side – such as when she would eat or chew. We also attached an EMG machine to Marci during these visits so that Dr. Coker could actually see the teeth come together on the computer screen, and read the intensity of the muscle forces on all her muscles involved in chewing.
Because Marci was one of a handful of patients who were still having migraines after her DTR treatment, she was fitted with an occlusal device, called an orthotic, that fits over all of her lower teeth. Marci wears this to bed each night to prevent clenching on her bare teeth. Then because of the DTR treatment, her jaws remain comfortable during the day without the device.
Marci is pretty excited whenever she comes in to see us. She tells us that the number migraine days she suffers has been drastically reduced.
“You have given me back my life!” she excitedly tells us.
Unfortunately, very few dentists in the U.S. are trained in DTR. Lucky for Marci, Dr. Coker is one of the few.
If you would like to see a video of a couple of patient stories from our friend in Oregon, Dr. Ben Sutter, click here.