Load testing is a crucial part of our complete examinations. I approach my patients the way that Dr. Dawson taught us.
Romance the mandible.
So to get to be able to romance the mandible, I relax my patient. I have them lean back. I talk in a very soft voice and I ask them to pretend like they’re falling asleep, watching TV, with their mouth open. This gets me half of the way there.
Then as I start by manually manipulating, just before that I tell them to let me know if there’s any sign of tension or tenderness in the joint. Now, as I’m doing this, as I’m torquing the mandible, as I’m increasing my pressure, I was starting off at a very low level, very soft level.
And then I’m increasing my increments of pressure, turning the doorknob, if you will, seating the condyles. As I do this, I ask each time, “Is there any sign of tension or tenderness?” Because once again, we cannot assume that we’re in CR. It must be verified. So hopefully, this will help you out in your load testing.