Once your muscles are relaxed, Dr. Heit will confirm and record the relaxed position of your jaw through a process called bite registration.
This is done by placing a fast setting putty-like material between your teeth, then allowing the jaw to settle into the desired comfortable bite position using a TENs device. As the putty begins to harden, it is removed from the mouth and placed on the plaster models of your teeth where it fully hardens. At the same time, your muscles are observed on the computer to ensure they are relaxed.
This creates a 'spacer' between your models that reflects the position of your teeth and jaws when the muscles are relaxed. Dr. Heit studies this bite position and, if indicated, is used by the laboratory to fabricate an orthotic that is worn in your mouth to temporarily relieve pain associated with TMD (temporal mandibular dysfunction) or to ensure that your comfortable bite is correct before undergoing more advanced, final dental treatment.
*Dr. Heit is a general dentist.