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Presented at the 1999 Conference of the American Association of Orthodontists, San Diego
Temple University School of Dentistry
A Clinical Study of the Effects of Facial-Flex
® in Patients with TMD
By Zarrinnia K, Braun RJ, Straja SR, Temple University School of Dentistry

The disorder of temporomandibular joint syndrome has probably existed since the dawn of man.

The diversity of symptoms and therapeutic techniques can make the proper choice of TMD treatment a frustrating experience.

There are numerous types of treatment modalities for TMD, ranging from simple facial muscle exercises to more involved surgical procedures for treatment of patients with TMD.

This device is designed to fit into the corners of the lips to improve facial muscle tone. Facial-Flex operates on the principle of dynamic resistance.

This pilot study examined the effects of the use of Facial-Flex to treat TMD.

The control and experimental groups have been examined prior to initiation of the experiment. In addition, they have been examined approximately sixty (60) days after the initial clinical examination.

The dysfunction* and palpation** indexes individually do not show any improvement as a result of the treatment. But the craniomandibular index alone shows a statistically significant difference concerning the "improvements"; this index is a combination of the palpation and dysfunction indexes. For the craniomandibular index, the general trend is for a positive "improvement" for the treatment group and virtually no improvement for the control group.

This pilot study has been conducted in an attempt to evaluate the effect of Facial-Flex in patients with TMD.

Seventeen female subjects participated in this pilot study. The subjects were divided into two groups: (a) the control group and (b) the experimental group (treatment group). The control group consisted of eight (8) subjects and the experimental group consisted of nine (9) subjects. Subjects were randomly assigned to either group (a) or (b).

In this pilot study the Friction and Schiffman Craniomandibular index was used to evaluate the effects of the use of Facial-Flex in relieving the symptoms of TMD.

Future investigations should include a larger sample and imaging of TMJ. Until additional investigations have been carried out, one cannot recommend the use of Facial-Flex for patients with TMD.

* Dysfunction index is obtained by clinical examination of the 1) mandibular movement 2) TMJ noise and 3) TMJ capsule palpation

** Palpation index is obtained by clinical examination of the 1) extraoral palpation 2) intraoral palpation and 3) neck muscle palpation
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