by Dr. Spainhower
This question and comment page is new and I couldn't reply to your own page, so I started a new page with the same name.
I just happended to log on just after you posted your comment.
Now, it's difficult to diagnose the true cause of your discomfort in person, let alone through the internet. Having said that, I'll give you some points to consider.
Everyone has a bad bite to some degree. I would put the "Bad Bite" diagnosis on the shelf in your brains library and search for more information.
Your Dentist has great intentions, but it sounds like from your words that he/she may not be able to diagnose other possible causes as mentioned in this website. I used to be the Dentist that only saw a "Bad Bite" as the problem, then I recieved more training and experience and saw that most often the Bad Bite is not the primary factor.
If you indeed need to correct your bite, the Centric Relation splint is the way to go. If you believe that you need to correct your bite, you need to wear the splint 24 hours per day 7 days per week (24/7) for about 3 months to treat that.
Then after the 3-4 months records and impressions are taken to mount the cast models of your bad bite together for the Dentist to diagnose exactly which teeth need modifications so that the teeth can meet together when the Condyle is in Centric Relation.
Then depending on the diagnosis, the Teeth are modified to correct the bite.
Three to six appointments generally is necessary to diagnose and identify the degree of the "Off Biteness" or "Bad Bite". Your Dentist may be qualified to correct your bite, but you do need to explore the possibilities of other factors causing your discomfort.
The problem is there are many "TMJ Dentists" that in my opinion do not treat "TMJ" patients with the correct philosophy and treatments that are appropriate for the majority of TMJ patients.
Your Dentist is going in the right direction with the CR splint, but, it isn't the right direction if your Dentist believes that your discomfort is derived from your bad bite, when in fact it may be other factors that I've mention here in my website.
It will take me 1-2 hours of searching for a qualified TMJ Dentist in your area, I can hopefully work on that tomorrow. I'll need to know which County and Cities to search in and how many miles you are willing to drive outside the county to find the right Doc for you.
You need to decide yourself of the direction you will go...meaning...Do you believe that it's possible that Environmental stresses in the last 6 months or so could have played a roll in your muscle tightness? If so, seek another second opinions.
Well, let me rephrase that. The CR Splint will get you comfortable, and you may not necessarily need to correct your bite after your discomforts are gone. Sometimes we need a crutch for a while until our body recovers from Environmental Stressors.
One option you have is to wear the Splint at night time only to see if that's enough to relieve your discomforts during the day. And if you can get through the day fine, then correcting the bite may not be necessary.
I hope this helps.
Any other questions?
Dave Spainhower DDS