Dr. Maryam Motlagh
Dr. Maryam Motlagh is a general and cosmetic dentist who focuses in TMJ treatments at her Portland, OR based private practice, Aesthetic Smiles. After decades of treating patients with TMJ and related dental jaw alignment issues. Today, I got the chance to sit down with Dr. Maryam Motlagh and talk to her about her research and experience.
Q: Tell me about your education, where did you study?
A: I have dedicated my professional life to helping patients improve their smiles and overall health with natural, non-surgical, & bio-remodeling techniques. I sought extensive training in post-doctorate institutes including Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry & Spear center and Las Vegas Institute (LVI) to help patients alleviate the pain associated with poor bite alignment commonly known as TMJ.
As a Fellow of International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics, my research has led to Myoaligner®, a PACE approved dental technology company that provides general dentists with the latest education on the connection between poor jaw alignment and other aliments like TMJ disorders and even sleep apnea.
Q: What do you consider to be your specialties?
A: The focus of my practice is cosmetic and complex restorative dentistry which has led to my nationally recognized Smile Makeovers by the American Academy of cosmetic Dentistry. The comprehensive approach to patient care is the driving force behind everything I do. I believe that beyond providing my patients with a beautiful smile I can also offer treatments that lead to better jaw alignment & improved facial profile. I am passionate about bringing awareness on TMJ/TMD treatments to patients and providers around the world.
Q: Could you explain what a comprehenisve approach is? Why do you feel it is the best way to treat patients?
A: a comprehensive approach in dentistry goes beyond fixing one or 2 teeth and takes into consideration the harmonious function of the entire masticatory system: muscles, joints and teeth . For example, I have a patient who suffers from TMJ disorders and experiences intense headaches and jaw clicking when she eats & talks. Instead of suggesting she take pain relief medications, I will determine the root cause of her pain. In this case, if her pain is caused by the misalignment of her bite. I can alleviate the bulk of the pain by relaxing the jaw muscles and supporting the the jaw in that relaxed position with custom made dental devices. Once relief of symptoms are achieved, we plan on a long term solution by correcting the bite either with orthodontic or restorative options.
The comprehensive approach can be utilized in many ways, but I have found it very beneficial in treating TMJ patients. People who suffer from common TMJ symptoms may not even know they have TMJ, which is why I believe education and awareness is critical for both patients and providers.
Q: Each year, more than 3 million people report symptoms of TMJ/TMD. Can you
explain what TMJ/TMD is?
A: TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, so technically everybody has TMJ. People associate symptoms like jaw popping, muscle spasms in their face or pain when eating to be linked with TMJ. Actually the correct term is TMD or Temporomandibular Disorder. Usually TMD is caused by misalignment of the upper and lower teeth which negatively effects the muscles and jaw alignment.
Q: Do you have a solution?
A: Yes. In my opinion the best solution is a comprehensive and non invasive approach. Some people have TMD caused by a bad bite, others cannot breath or swallow correctly due to chronic congestions and mouth breathing which causes mal-occlusion. To have a good orthopedic balance in the jaw and the head and neck, the bones, muscles and teeth all need to work together in harmony. After years of treating patients suffering from TMD, I have put a multidiciplinary protocol together based on physiologic, functional and Neuromuscular treatment modalities.
Q: What is your mission with Myoaligner®?
A: Our mission is to empower dentists with training, knowledge and simple solutions so they can expand their treatment services and impact millions of lives.
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