Dental rehabilitation is a branch of medical rehabilitation responsible for improving the functionality of movement within the craniocervical-mandibular system. It also reduces pain in this region of the face. Dental rehabilitation is still relatively unknown field of medicine in Poland. However, due to its practical nature, it is becoming increasingly popular.
Dental rehabilitation has been intensively developing for quite a long time. The general purpose of this field is to improve the functioning of patients through exercises and treatment procedures. This concerns not only chronic and congenital diseases, but also deficiencies resulting from accidents. In Warsaw, dental rehabilitation services are available, among others, at ENEL-SPORT facilities.
When should we seek medical assistance?
The following abnormalities should make us consult a specialist and take up dental rehabilitation:
- malocclusions and faulty postures;
- mechanical injuries (accident, impact, fall);
- post-operative changes in the masticatory (chewing) organ;
- degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis);
- pain in the mandible, maxilla, oral cavity, face or the entire head;
- exposure of tooth necks;
- dental cracks, enamel problems;
- tinnitus (ear buzzing), ear blocking;
- impaired swallowing, chewing, yawning;
- problems with opening and closing the mouth;
- mandibular clicking/popping;
- inflammatory conditions in the facial skeleton;
- watery eyes, splitting sensation in the eyeball;
- nail biting;
- use of an orthodontic appliance.
Interestingly, changes in the pelvis and spine may also necessitate dental rehabilitation procedures. This affects the relationship between the changes in temporomandibular joints and postural defects (even flat feet). In this situation, a good solution is also offered by orthopaedic rehabilitation for adults. For this purpose, it is worth having our entire body examined to help it in everyday functioning.
What does the visit look like?
Dental rehabilitation is usually preceded by a consultation with a specialist. There is no special preparation for the appointment – it consists in taking a detailed medical history and performing a few clinical tests in a dental room.
What does the specialist check before referring us to dental rehabilitation?
- mandible mobility;
- movement range of the temporomandibular joints;
- potential sounds made by the temporomandibular joint;
- dentition status;
- tongue condition;
- muscle tenderness.
Dental rehabilitation procedures are also conducted before and after surgeries in the facial skeleton. They help to regenerate joints and prevent the patient’s discomfort. It is common for a rehabilitation team to include a few practitioners of different specialities, for instance:
- dental practitioner;
he cooperation of specialists offers maximum chances to improve the functioning of this area of the body and successfully prevent the recurrence of symptoms.
The therapies vary depending on the type of the problem in question. Dental endodontic rehabilitation involves eliminating the symptoms related to the temporomandibular joint, for example during mouth opening. On the other hand, dental orthodontic rehabilitation remedies the adverse effects of wearing orthodontic appliances, such as headaches, pain in the facial skeleton, tinnitus (ear buzzing) or dizziness.
Depending on the cause of the problem, specialists recommend various forms of dental rehabilitation. The most popular ones include:
- kinesiotherapy – exercises that strengthen the muscles and joint mobility. They not always involve the face only, but are more commonly performed in the area of the thoracic or cervical spine;
- physical therapy – it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. The most commonly used physical therapy procedures include ionophoresis, laser therapy and ultrasound therapy;
- manual therapy – massage of the face and head, techniques for muscle relaxation and improvement of joint mobility;
- physioprophylaxis – a set of exercises prepared by a physiotherapist on an individual basis for a given patient, including activities that patients can perform on their own at home. They are most commonly intended to strengthen facial muscles and improve sensation.
The duration of dental rehabilitation depends, to a large extent, on the type and severity of the dysfunction in question. It is usually planned by the specialist on an individual basis for every single patient. In Łódź, dental rehabilitation services are provided, among others, at ENEL-SPORT facilities.