What To Expect

Complimentary Consultation: We offer a free, in-depth, health consultation where we will listen to you and your needs. You can share any issues you are having and ultimately what you want to get back for your life. At this point we can determine if you would be a good fit for upper cervical chiropractic care.

Exam & Imaging: We perform a comprehensive physical examination to test your reflexes, range of motion. Our standard neurological, orthopedic, postural, and physical examinations will allow us to objectively determine what you need in order to dramatically improve the quality of your life.

Report of Findings and Care Plan: After the thorough analysis of your exam, imaging, and scan, you will be scheduled for your report of findings. We will share with you the results we found and explain any problems to correct. We seek to provide a long term solution and take into consideration your current lifestyle choices, goals for the future, and any challenges standing in your way. Your recommended care plan will be designed to fit your specific needs.

Achieving Wellness: The foundation for your overall health is based on proper spinal alignment. Remember, no healing process happens without time as an essential element. While many patients get immediate relief, long-term stability and correction of your upper cervical misalignment takes time. While symptoms fade away, sometimes long-term stability and health can take weeks or months to achieve. As you continue in your care plan, we will monitor your progress and be vigilant to recheck your atlas; ensuring proper alignment and effectiveness.

The healing process can have many twists and turns as your body goes through a healing process and retraces back to health. Many patients experience increased body awareness and the changes they experience. As you hold your adjustment, your body will continue to heal and stabilize; allowing you to live optimally.

Dental Scanning Technology: Recent developments in the study of the Cranio Cervical Junction and the Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) have revealed a close connection between these two structures via the branches of the Trigeminal nerve. Because these structures share the same nerve supply it follows that a problem in one can mimic or exacerbate a problem in the other.

Of particular interest is the work of Dr. Dr. Mariano Rocabado and his work with functional dentistry involving the CCJ and the TMJ and the use of occlusal splinting. Dr. Rocabado has proposed a concept called tri centric relation which involves the alignment of the skull, the mandible and the teeth.

When you think about this concept in more concrete terms… it makes sense that if the head is not on straight- that will reveal itself in the bite pattern. To put it more simply:

a misaligned head and neck joint (CCJ) leads to a misaligned bite pattern

In dentistry this is referred to as “malocclusion”. There is a wealth of research in the dental profession on occlusion and its importance. Malocclusion itself has even been implicated as a cause of migraine headaches, TMJ issues and vertigo.
“Headache patients suffer from TMD more frequently and have occlusion type is Angle's class' tendency than healthy controls. Relationship between the primary headache and malocclusion suggest a potential for expansion of headache treatment, need further investigations”
- Relationship between migraine and malocclusion M Takeuchi, et. Al- J Headache Pain. 2013; 14(Suppl 1): P136.

Jaw related head pain is a widely accepted phenomenon throughout medical research and the treatment of TMJ disorders (TMD) is a fairly common practice among the dental profession.

Bringing it together

There are many dentists and orthodontists who treat mal occlusion and they get great results most of the time
There are many chiropractors and PT’s who address the Atlas and the CCJ and the get great results most of the time
Our philosophy is to re- align the atlas and the CCJ and THEN AND ONLY THEN to capture the new bite pattern and fabricate a splint that reflects this new subtly different bite pattern.

There is plenty of evidence that points to occlusion and more specifically malocclusion having a detrimental effect on the alignment of the spine. Of particular interest is a study from the peer reviewed journal MDPI Animals “Effects of Induced Malocclusion on Vertebral Alignment in Rats: A Controlled Study by CBCTs” Animals (Basel). 2021 Oct; 11(10): 2808. Michele D’Attilio, et. Al

The study experimentally mis-aligned the bite pattern in rats and found: In conclusion, the increase in monolateral occlusion in the molar region yielded a rotation of the lumbo-sacral segment towards the same side of the occlusal bite-raising.
In other words you mess with the bite and the alignment of the spine changes…

This study provides even more insight into why this phenomenon takes place:

“The nerve conduction and anatomy of the masticatory system have an intimate relationship with the vertebrae column. There is an intimate relationship between the trigeminal nerves and both sensation and movement of the neck. The nucleus of the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus interlocks with the nerves of the cervical cord, and the trigeminal nerves participate in the formation of the nerves of the cervical cord at the C1 and C2 regions”

For too long chiropractors have ignored the TMJ as a source of neurological interference. At the same time most dentists have ignored the importance of the CCJ and its influence on occlusion. At the atlas clinic we address both of these delicate neurological structures and look to stabilize both at the same time. By addressing both the TMJ and the CCJ we are able to help our patients get the lasting relief they are looking for.

Our Process

As we correct the alignment of the CCJ we closely monitor our progress with the use of Low dose Cone Beam CT analysis. When we have successfully repositioned the Atlas, we use our 3D oral Scanner to obtain a real time scan of your new bite pattern. This is accomplished in a short 10-15 minute chairside oral scan. We then send this scan to our lab for fabrication and within 7 days we will receive your custom fit appliance.
Once we receive the appliance we will deliver the appliance and check for proper fit- we also repeat a CT scan to ensure proper positioning of the appliance in relation to the jaw, airway and the Upper cervical spine. A proper fitting appliance accomplishes many things:

1. The dental appliance relieves pressure off the TMJ joint and allows an increase in the vertical dimension of the articular capsule of the TMJ joint
2. The appliance also helps to increase the diameter of the airway and when worn at night helps our patients experience more restful sleep
3. The appliance reinforces the new improved position of the TMJ and the Atlas
4. The appliance helps to reinforce ligamentous remodeling (creep) through the concept of pressure over time
5. The longer you wear the appliance the better chance you have of holding your adjustment and relieving any tension from the TMJ area

Atlas repositioning verified by CBCT technology paired with the dental scanning procedure and the use of a custom dental appliance has allowed many of our patients to achieve lasting results without having to return as often. This benefits you if you are looking for more efficient and long lasting correction of your atlas.

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