Devices for the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders. Part I: Introduction, scientific evidence, and jaw tracking

J Prosthet Dent. 1990 Feb;63(2):198-201. doi: 10.1016/0022-3913(90)90106-m.


This three-part series of articles summarizes the uses of several devices or groups of devices intended for the diagnosis or treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and compares their claimed clinical usefulness with the present scientific evidence. Part I of this review defines TMD; discusses the principal criteria for evaluating published scientific clinical evidence such as reliability, validity, sensitivity, and specificity; gives a rationale for the clinical "gold standard" against which diagnostic and therapeutic devices must be compared; and evaluates the status of jaw tracking for the diagnosis of TMD. This review and evaluation led to the conclusion that, at the present time, the claim that jaw-tracking devices have a diagnostic value for TMD is not well supported by the scientific evidence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Jaw / physiopathology*
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Movement
  • Myography / instrumentation
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / physiopathology