If you’re experiencing jaw pain, muscle pain, headaches, or any other signs of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), you surely want to find a quick and thorough resolution to your problem. But it’s important to do your research and find the right TMJ specialist to meet your needs. Keep reading for 3 tips on how to choose the right TMJ specialist for you.
1. Check Certifications
Unfortunately, there is no regulated body for treating TMJ. This means dentists and orthodontists can say they treat TMJ without having vast experience on the subject. Make sure you’re truly getting a specialist by asking what courses they’ve taken relating to TMJ and how long they’ve been treating cases similar to yours. There are several different philosophies on TMJ treatment. Some of these philosophies even conflict with one another. It is best to choose a specialist that is nondenominational with experience and understanding in all the different TMJ philosophies. Each patient has a unique circumstance which cannot be treated with a cookie cutter type of treatment. The treatment and sequence of treatment that is recommended for one patient, may not be successful for another patient. It is important your specialist evaluate your history, symptoms, and anatomy very thoroughly and develop a customized treatment plan. We recommend seeking a TMJ specialist that has a combination of credentials. Ideally seek a provider who has done training at not just one, but multiple of the acclaimed TMJ training programs such as a residency level TMJ program at a university, Pankey Institute, Dawson Institute, Spears Institute, and the Las Vegas Institute.
2. Read Online Reviews
Online reviews are always a good source for finding a provider, and it’s no different when you’re seeking a TMJ specialist. Look for a dentist who has a wide variety of reviews. You want them to be mostly positive, but there should be some less-than-perfect reviews sprinkled in there too so you know the reviews are real.
3. Learn Treatment Options
Typically TMJ treatment involves improving the harmony between the position of the teeth, the temporomandibular joint, and the muscles of the jaw. Sometimes TMJ symptoms and jaw pain can be relieved by simply wearing a custom balanced occlusal orthotic. Sometimes it may be best to gently adjust the teeth to reduce an unbalanced bite that may be causing jaw grinding or bruxism. Other times, it may be best to first consider orthodontics to improve the jaw and teeth position. Depending on your situation, TMJ treatment may be completed in one simple phase, but for more complex treatments your TMJ specialist may suggest 2 to 3 phases each which are necessary to incrementally improve the symptoms. Ask questions to get familiar with the treatment plan when consulting with a specialist. Find out how long the treatment will take, how much it will cost, and what methods will be used. Ask what the goal of the treatment is and do research to learn about any risks involved. Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in the TMJ specialist prior to proceeding with treatment.
Contact Us Today
Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction is metro Boston’s leading TMJ dentist. Contact us today at our office in Waltham, Massachusetts for quality treatment. We’re eager to answer any questions you may have and get you the long-lasting relief you deserve.