Patients all over the world have been diagnosed with what is known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder while others continue to unknowingly live with the condition. Those patients who have been diagnosed with TMJ and have undergone treatment may have realized that the treatment method used did not work as they had hoped it would. Neuromuscular dentists who provide treatment for TMJ use some of the most advanced techniques to treat the main cause of any discomfort and pain related to most TMJ case: a bad bite (poor occlusion). Dr. Dunayer prefers to use a neuromuscular orthotic (or bite splint) to realign the bite because it is non-surgical yet very reliable. The bite splint is a very popular treatment method for TMJ, however, it’s not a widely known treatment method. Many patients get TMJ treatment from dentist or physicians who are not familiar with TMJ treatment with an orthotic and are often steered towards other types of TMJ treatments.
Many times a patient looking for TMJ treatment methods for symptoms such as jaw pain, will run across more invasive procedures to treat TMD. TMJ implant surgery to replace the jaw joint is one such invasive (and thus controversial) procedure. TMJ implants have been used since the early 1980s to treat those patients with very severe TMJ. For some patients the implants were a success while for others they seemed to bring about even more misery and unhappiness.
As with any type of dental procedure it’s always important to know both sides of the story. Usually with any type of dental procedure, there are benefits but there are also risks that all patients should be fully aware of before conceding to a certain procedure, especially one that is as invasive and serious as jaw implant surgery. The main risks of undergoing jaw implants include disfiguration, pain, and results that fall short once the procedure is completed. (See this cautionary tale about TMJ implant surgery.)
Many believe that the TMJ implants procedure, even today, is still too risky and should require a lot more research and testing to find ways to make it a more successful procedure for any patient who requires it.
Since surgery is invasive and permanent, Dr. Dunayer prefers to exhaust all other TMJ treatment options before referring a patient to a surgeon. If you have yet to find a treatment for your TMJ condition that works and are considering TMJ surgery, come to Dr. Dunayer to discuss the alternatives to surgery that are available to you. There is no need for any patient to live uncomfortably because of a misaligned TMJ and no patient should ever resort to surgery as the first fix. Come to Dr. Dunayer for proven TMJ treatment. Book your appointment online now or call us at 845-627-7645.