Evaluation and Treatment of TMJ
Treatment can range from as few as a couple of weeks up to six months or more. This depends on the severity of the disorder and the instability in the joint. The typical over the counter boil and bite Night Guard, most dentists made Night Guards, steroid shots, muscle relaxers, Botox injections, massage, ibuprofen, ice, heat, and therapy will not work or only provide temporary relief. Also, some of those treatments can worsen the symptoms, if there is a true internal derangement in your TMJ, without addressing the displacement first. Physical Therapy can be helpful in conjunction with treating the displacement, but unless the source of the pain has been identified and treated, there will be continued chronic discomfort.
Screenings are typically performed during our normal preventive examination via questioning and examination.
If TMJ disorder is suspected, a more thorough evaluation will be needed to document muscle pain and joint function. If possible, a clinical adjustment to recapture the displacement will be attempted. Unless the disorder has gone untreated for a while and the patient has severe symptoms, this clinical therapy is usually a very simple procedure with little to no discomfort and you should feel improvement in symptoms and relief while in the chair.
After that, a follow up evaluation is recommended to check on the stability of the joint and to reevaluate the patients symptoms. If the symptoms have improved with palliative therapy after clinically reducing the displacement, the patient will simply be monitored on recall examinations. If symptoms are still present, splint therapy will be discussed and a customized treatment plan will be developed.
Treatment typically involves treating the cartilage disc displacement by attempting to achieve repair/regeneration of the disc and peri-discal tissues with splint therapy. Simply put, splint therapy will stabilize the joint and allow for healing and repair.
Many of our TMJ Disorder patients have already been to multiple other providers and specialists before they ever find us, and most instances, have spent much time and money, with sincere efforts by those providers, in trying to get relief. However, most have only experienced temporary relief or none at all. Our referrals come from our existing patient base, oral surgeons, dentists, and local providers.
Call our office today to schedule your initial evaluation if you suspect you have this condition or suffer with these symptoms.
Training and Credits
Dr. Scott trained under Dr. Euguene Williamson, who developed a technique of jaw repositioning movements and orthotics to treat the disc displacements through repair and regeneration. These methods aim to recapture the displacement and reduce pressure in the joint on these tissues. Dr. Williamson has taught and researched this method for over 40 years with over 100 publications citing the success of these methods. Williamson’s procedures have been proven clinically, to be over 95% successful non surgically and is based upon clinical experiences and Williamson’s research as reported in professional journals. Dr. Scott also reads and studies topics in TMJ disorders, but mostly credits his mentor and friend, Dr. Eugene Williamson, with the foundation for the treatment modalities he uses to treat patients with TMJ Disorder.