Oral Kinesiology

As one of the dental differentiations in The Netherlands, temporomandibular disorders (TMD) focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of pain and dysfunction of the masticatory system. Bruxism (i.e. tooth clenching and/or grinding) is thought to play an important aetiological role in TMD. Among others, bruxism may result in TMD pain and dental attrition. The close relationship between TMD, bruxism, and attrition necessitates an integrated approach to these clinical problems. This could be achieved through the multidisciplinary differentiation ‘oral kinesiology’, that covers not only the diagnosis and treatment of TMD and bruxism but also the restoration of worn dentitions. In addition, special attention is paid to the diagnosis and treatment of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome due to its relation with the masticatory system. The Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam offers dental practitioners a postgraduate training in oral kinesiology. This curriculum will ensure that specialized professionals (dentist–kinesiologists), who are able to approach the different aspects of oral kinesiology in an integrated manner, are available not only for the general dental practice but also for centres for special dental care and university departments. This will lead to improved care for patients, whose management is still frequently dispersed between various (dental) specialists.