Surgical TMJ treatment can bring welcome relief from pain, but many patients wonder when it’s time to move on from nonsurgical attempts and try another solution.
When should you start the conversation on surgical TMJ treatment with your oral surgeon?
Have You Been Diagnosed?
First things first: Have you received an official TMJ diagnosis? Temporomandibular joint disorder can be caused by arthritis, injury or a misaligned bite.
Some of the initial signs this might be a problem for you include:
- Sore and stiff jaw muscles
- Frequent headaches
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Jaw clicks, pops or catches when you open or close your mouth
- Sensitive, loose or broken teeth due to impaired jaw function
- Difficulty chewing normally
- Ringing ears or hearing problems
If you have received a diagnosis from your dentist, you know the cause of your symptoms is TMJ. But if you haven’t yet had these uncomfortable health issues checked out, it’s important to do so right away.
Have You Talked to Your Dentist?
Your dentist is usually the first medical professional you’ll discuss TMJ treatment with, simply because they will probably be the one to diagnose you. They might take X-rays of your jaw and physically examine your bite. This helps them to measure the severity of your TMJ.
To relieve pain immediately, they may recommend pain medication or steroid injections to relieve inflammation. They may also suggest that you eat soft foods and ice your jaw when the pain is too great. They may even fit you for a night guard to keep your teeth from grinding together and your jaw from locking.
If these treatments fail, they will refer you to an oral surgeon.
Have You Talked to Your Insurance Company?
What does your insurance carrier say about TMJ treatment? Look at both your physical and dental health insurance policies to see if you have coverage. You may need a referral from both your doctor and dentist to receive care, depending on the policy regulations.
Are You Ready for Relief?
From orthoscopic surgery to joint replacement, your oral surgeon has a number of methods they can use to address your TMJ, but it all depends on the underlying cause. You are a good candidate for surgical intervention if all other treatments have failed to bring the relief you need.
We’re Here for You
Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery uses the latest technology to better serve our patients. Through extensive diagnostic procedures, we work toward providing the most in-depth, accurate diagnoses possible as well as our experienced professional recommendations given your specific situation.
When you trust your oral surgeon, you’re more confident and comfortable. At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our TMJ treatment recommendations always have your best interests in mind.