Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
Surgical Treatment for TMJ Disorders
There are multiple conservative (nonsurgical) approaches to treating temporomandibular disorders. However, when these conservative methods have been exhausted without success, surgery may be necessary. To determine if TMJ surgery is right for you, your preliminary visit will involve Dr. Haigney listening and feeling your jaw when you open and shut your mouth, observing your jaw’s range of motion, and pressing on areas to identify any areas of discomfort or pain.
You should also be prepared to provide information your dentist may ask concerning your condition, such as:
- How long have the symptoms been present?
- Is the pain constant, or does it come and go?
- Is it difficult to open your mouth?
- Have these symptoms occurred before?
- Has your life been unusually stressful lately?
- Have you had frequent toothaches, neck aches, or headaches?
- What type of medications and/or supplements are you currently taking?
If your Dr. Haigney suspects you have an issue, he will likely take Panoramic or Cone Beam CT X-ray to examine your jaw and teeth. You may also be scheduled for an outpatient MRI in order to visualize the position and condition of the TMJ meniscus.. A TMJ arthroscopy may also be performed to determine a diagnosis
Surgical Treatment Options for TMJ Disorders
Surgical treatment options for addressing TMJ include the following:
- Arthrocentesis: A minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting small needles into the joint to irrigate fluids through the joint, which in turn removes inflammatory byproducts and debris.
- Corticosteroid Injections. An injection of corticosteroid with local anesthetic into the joint can help temporarily alleviate TMJ issues. BOTOX injection may also help alleviate muscle symptoms associated with uncontrollable daytime clenching.
- TMJ arthroscopy: After placing a small thin tube into the joint space. an arthroscope is inserted to look inside your joint and determine what is causing the issue. The benefit of TMJ arthroscopy is that there are fewer complications and risks compared to open-joint surgery. There are however limitations with this minimally invasive approach.
- Open-joint surgery: If these treatments are not successful in improving your jaw pain, it may be necessary to have an open-joint surgery in order to replace or repair the joint.
Non-Surgical TMJ Options
Although there are surgical options for treating TMJ that can be very successful, it is also important to be aware of the following non-surgical treatment options.
Medication treatment is primarily concerned with pain relief by reducing inflammation.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) : NSAID's may be prescribed for a limited time to reduce the inflammation.
- Muscle relaxants: These medications can be used sparingly to improve TMJ disorders that are developing due to muscle spasms.
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Though typically used to treat depression, low doses of these medications have been shown to be beneficial in controlling nocturnal bruxism (Grinding of the teeth while asleep).
There are a range of nondrug therapy options for treating TMJ, including the following:
- Education and Counseling: Taking the time to better understand the behaviors and factors that aggravate your pain can provide you with better tools to avoid them. You may be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist as part of the team.
- Physical therapy: Exercises that stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles along with regular use of hot or cold compresses can help improve symptoms.
- Oral splints or mouth guards: People who experience issues related to TMJ often experience improvements when wearing night guards or other types of devices that fit over the teeth
Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes
In addition to the different treatment options available for TMJ, one of the most effective and important steps patients can do is to practice and alter their daily lifestyle habits. The following approaches can make a tremendous difference in reducing symptoms related to TMJ:
- Do not overuse your jaw muscles: To give your jaw muscles a break, follow a soft food diet and/or take steps to avoid foods that are chewy or sticky.
- Hot or cold compresses: Warm or cold compresses applied to the side of your face can help alleviate symptoms and reduce any swelling that might be occurring.
- Stretching and massaging: Talk to your dentist, doctor, or physical therapist about exercises and massage techniques you can perform to strengthen your jaw muscles.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Stress is one of the leading causes of TMJ. Although there is not guarantee, many patients have experienced improvement in their condition when taking yoga or mindfulness classes and/or taking steps to eliminate lifestyle factors that increase their stress level.
Cost of TMJ Surgery
The cost of TMJ Surgery will be determined by a variety of factors, such as the severity of your condition, any unique oral or health issues you have that may complicate the procedure, and what type of medical insurance plan you have. Our office will file your claim, handle the paperwork, and ensure to help you maximize your insurance reimbursement. The remaining balance following your insurance coverage will be your responsibility.
Prior to performing the procedure, we will discuss the expected cost, as well as payment plan options that are available to you, such as Lending Club and Care Credit, which offer 6 and 12 month interest-free payment plans.
For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
At Lake Norman Oral and Facial Surgery, we are committed to treating our patients the way we would expect to be treated. Because Dr. Haigney is a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Fellowship Trained in Facial Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, you can be confident you will receive care that implements the latest dental advancements and is informed by current research and best practices, resulting in you achieving the results you deserve.
To schedule an appointment or consultation, contact our staff at (704) 255-5888 or request an appointment online.