Why did my dentist recommend a dental deprogrammer?
A deprogrammer is a dental appliance designed to diagnose the cause of problems related to the bite. It is also occasionally used to treat some bite related problems. If you are planning to restore key teeth or if you are having bite and jaw related symptoms your dentist may recommend a deprogrammer for you.
What is a deprogrammer?
A deprogrammer is a removable dental appliance, similar to an orthodontic retainer that is worn over the teeth to prevent them from biting together.
How do I know if I have bite problems?
Some of the most common signs of bite related problems are:
- Worn teeth
- Cracked and fractured teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain or cramping in the jaw muscles
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Popping or locking of the jaws
- Head aches
- Loose teeth
- Notching in the tooth at the gum line
- Clenching or grinding the teeth
- No home position for the teeth
- Earaches or ringing
These problems may be caused by teeth that do not fit together properly or by habits such as clenching and grinding.
How does the deprogrammer work?
The way this works is the deprogrammer creates a little platform between the front teeth that prevents the back teeth from biting together. This frees up the muscles and jaw joint to relax into their physiologically ideal resting position without any influence from maximum intercuspation.
The deprogrammer is both a diagnostic tool and a way to temporarily relax the jaw and reduce muscle tension, headaches and excess wear on the teeth.
How should I use the deprogrammer?
Wear the deprogrammer as much as possible and always remove it to eat or to clean the teeth. It is especially important to wear it all night prior to and the day of your scheduled evaluation. Keep the deprogrammer in until you are asked to remove it.
Please bring your deprogrammer to every appointment.
How long does it take to deprogram the teeth?
Some people can deprogram in a few minutes and some take weeks or even months.
How do you know when the teeth are deprogrammed?
The jaw muscles will feel comfortable and relaxed and the teeth will touch on the discluding element in exactly the same place every time. It is also important to determine that this contact point is not changing over time.
How can bite problems be fixed?
Once the cause of the bite problem has been determined and the most stable position for the jaw has been determined, you have several treatment options.
1. Bite appliance: You may get a night guard from your dentist or your deprogrammer can be made into a long-term appliance to use during episodes of headache and clenching
2. Orthodontics: Sometimes the teeth may be moved with braces so that the tooth, jaw and chewing positions are in harmony.
3. Selective filing: Sometimes the bite can be corrected by selectively filing points on the teeth that keep the jaws from functioning properly
4. Restoring the teeth: The bite related problems may also be corrected by restoring the teeth with porcelain, gold or fillings.
After considering your goals and specific condition the dentist will recommend one or a combination of these treatments to improve the health of your teeth and jaws.
Our goal is to provide the highest level of comfort and esthetics. Our mission is to create smiles that look beautiful and feel wonderful. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
Pain in the jaw joint: Remove the deprogrammer immediately and consult with your dentist for an evaluation.
Headaches from the deprogrammer: Remove the deprogrammer and consult with your dentist immediately. The deprogrammer may need to be adjusted.
Lower front teeth are getting loose: Remove your deprogrammer and consult your dentist immediately. The deprogrammer may need to be adjusted
Teeth are getting sensitive: Remove your deprogrammer and consult your dentist immediately. The deprogrammer may need to be adjusted.
Sore spots on the gums: Consult with your dentist. The deprogrammer may need to be adjusted
The bite changes after wearing the deprogrammer for a while. This is normal and means that the deprogrammer is working. The sensation should go away shortly after the deprogrammer has been removed from the mouth.