When an occlusion problem or tissue damage to the head, neck and facial area is diagnosed, it is important to have an evaluation by a trained and qualified TMD dentist. Our office performs a full examination of the TM joints, head, neck, and facial region, as well as x-rays and occasionally MRI evaluation.
We are able to objectively determine the pathological nature and extent of joint sounds, injuries to the TM joint area and arrive at a realistic prognosis. Frequently, a custom-made orthotic (“splint”) is prescribed for orthopedic and musculoskeletal stabilization.
While many of the symptoms are temporarily improved with pharmacological agents such as analgesics, muscle relaxants, anxiolytics, and anti-depressants, additional adjunctive therapies may include:
Patients benefit from the non-surgical, conservative treatment our office provides. Once pain is controlled and the jaw joint is stabilized, the bite is balanced so the teeth, muscles, and joints all work together without strain or pain. Initially, treatment addresses the pain. Secondly, function is restored. Thirdly, the patient is stabilized.
Occasionally surgery is necessary but in less than 3 percent of all patients. Because problems associated with the jaw joints can be progressive, accurate and immediate diagnosis and treatment is crucial.
It is easy to see why the role of dentistry is essential in the successful diagnosis and treatment of TM disorders, head, neck, and facial pain. Of course, interdisciplinary management with supporting health care professionals results in the most effective treatment.
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