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Invisalign® and neuromuscular dentistry: total failure

Question

Hello Dr Chamberland,

One year ago, I underwent an Invisalign® treatment with my dentist (and not orthodontist) which resulted in a total failure with regard to my occlusion.

The problem being quite severe (source of pain in the cervical vertebrae, jaw and ears), I consulted an orthodontist who proposed to me to start the Invisalign® treatment again since my teeth are indeed badly positioned.

However, I also consulted a dentist who recommended to me to turn myself to neuromuscular dentistry first, because, according to him, Invisalign® cannot correct the occlusion.

My question is the following: are there specialists or types of specialties who are known for the treatment of this kind of problem?

Moreover, which specialty does neuromuscular dentistry fall under?

I live in Montreal, and I do not want to undergo another blind treatment.

A great thank you in advance for your help and your advice!

Majda

Answer

Miss,

We have to take into account the facts to take an informed decision.

First, you have received a treatment with Invisalign® aligner trays which ended up being a total failure with regard to your occlusion.

If this kind of appliance did not work once, why should it work better the second time?

Of course, chances of success may have been different if it had been administered by an orthodontist, but I doubt it. The difference, however, is that the orthodontist had possibly more chances of identifying your other problem, the pain in the cervical vertebrae, jaws and ears.

Let’s compare the situation with antibiotics. If you take a prescription of antibiotic for an infection X and that after the treatment, this infection X comes back, is it possible that the spectrum of action of this antibiotic might not be the right one? Shouldn’t the antibiotic be changed?

Could the Invisalign® treatment that you received be the least suited treatment with regard to the occlusal condition that you had at first?

Personally, if a patient consulted me for a malocclusion and on top of that, he had pain in cervical vertebrae, joints and ears, I would not start the treatment with Invisalign®, that’s for sure.

I would begin by searching for the cause of this pain and propose a specific treatment to this problem. Then, I would take care of the occlusion.

You should know that the pain that you feel is probably not related to the state of your occlusion.

Neuromuscular dentistry IS NOT a specialty of dentistry. It is a school of thought based on concepts which are little or not supported by scientific literature. It is a little like a religion. A limited group of supporters believe in it, but the scientific community does not adhere to it.

The Ordre des dentistes du Québec published a public press release on the problem of temporomandibular disorders (TMD link) (in French).

Thus, I do not believe that neuromuscular dentistry could be of any help to you.

I believe that you need an orthodontist who has in-depth knowledge in temporomandibular disorders and who could propose a treatment which could be different from Invisalign®, without necessarily excluding it.

Good luck

Dr Sylvain Chamberland



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