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New cosmetic approach begins at the muscle

Feb. 5, 2013
 
Dr. John Krasowski sits in front of a screen with measurements from a bilateral ultra-low frequency, neuro-mediated session Jan. 30 at Krasowski Dental on North 17th Avenue in Wausau.
Dr. John Krasowski sits in front of a screen with measurements from a bilateral ultra-low frequency, neuro-mediated session Jan. 30 at Krasowski Dental on North 17th Avenue in Wausau. / T'xer Zhon Kha/Gannett Central Wisconsin Media
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Doctor John Krasowski poses for a photo Jan. 30 at Krasowski Dental off from North 17th Avenue in Wausau. / T'xer Zhon Kha/Daily Herald Media

Symptoms or problems related to misaligned jaw:» Headaches
» Jaw pain
» Neck pain
» Shoulder pain
» Ringing in the ears
» Clicking sounds in the jaw joint

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Most people identify cosmetic dentistry with implants, new veneers and tooth whitening techniques, but it’s not all about the look of one’s smile. Today’s focus in cosmetic dentistry is about getting a patient’s jaw muscles in a relaxed, natural alignment before fixing the appearance of teeth.

Most people who seek cosmetic dentistry do so because of years of deterioration attributed to a bad bite. Neuromuscular dentistry corrects your bite by locating “a zone of comfort” for the muscles that support your jaw, according to Wausau dentist Dr. John Krasowski.

When a patient complains of jaw pain or TMJ, grinding, clenching, headaches or even difficulty breathing, he or she will often require manipulation of the facial muscles before any dental work begins, Krasowski said. Patients stand in a cone beam CT scanner for evaluation of head posture, tongue position and their airway.

A patient might then be tested with electromyography and jaw tracking devices to measure facial muscle activity. The procedure can measure the position of the muscle at rest to fix issues with grinding teeth and jaw pain.

Krasowski and his team of dental staff use a treatment called bilateral ultra-low frequency, neuro-mediated transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, also called TENS, to improve circulation to muscles. The stimulation “rejuvenates the facial muscles in some cases by millimeters,” Krasowski said.

The goal is to position the jaw in a physiologic or natural rest position, he said.

“The priority is to get the muscles happy,” Krasowski said, “It changes people’s lives.”

In some cases, patients will wear orthotic devices to give them a better bite, less jaw pain and relief from other symptoms of discomfort. Devices are custom fit for each patient’s needs.

After patients have the “right bite,” then it’s time to make any upgrades to teeth such as new veneers, crowns or dental implants.

— 13 for 13 staff

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