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Functional analysis of temporomandibular joints and masticatory muscles

A short functional analysis of the temporomandibular joints and the masticatory muscles is part of the basic diagnostics before orthodontic treatments. On the one hand, clinical signs and symptoms have to be diagnosed before the starting treatment of the temporomandibular joint and masticatory muscles so that they can be taken into account in treatment planning.

On the other hand, there are also subclinical findings that have not been noticed in everyday life so far, which can be determined by the functional analysis. Even with these minor signs and symptoms, it is important to protect patients and physicians from surprises during treatment. The scientific societies DGZMK and DGFDT support this statement. In a formal statement they regard a planned orthodontic treatment as an indication for a clinical functional analysis. This statement can be viewed here: https://www.dgfdt.de/klinische-funktionsanalyse.

That’s the reason why in our practices a brief clinical functional analysis is performed before and after each orthodontic treatment. It is important to us to carry out a small basic examination (a so-called screening), without undue effort. Elaborate examinations with a high expenditure of time and money do not have any justification for routine orthodontic treatment, but may be useful for pain patients.

In clinical functional analysis, we largely follow the RDC / TMD (Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD) or the DC / TMD derived from it. These are scientifically validated diagnostic procedures and are used worldwide. Information about the RDC / TMD and the DC / TMD can be found here:

https://ubwp.buffalo.edu/rdc-tmdinternational/

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