What should one expect when going to a dentist who treats TMJ? The old way to do an examination was with palpation of the muscles and maybe a doppler to hear joint sounds. Truly this is an outdated methodology.
TMJ Scan reflecting degernerative joint disease
Scan allowing views of the neck and C1 through C7
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It is a joint and needs to be treated accordingly. If one went to an orthopedic surgeon with a knee problem and the orthopedic only palpated the knee and said you are fine is this the standard of care? Absolutely not as he cannot see inside the joint to know what is going on. The same applies to TMJ. A comprehensive exam for TMJ should include: 1) Discussion of symptoms, duration, other medical issues 2) Postural Exam to uncover should drop, side bending head 3) Neck Exam for C1/C2 rotation 4) Muscle and occlusal exam 5) 3D Scan of head and neck The last component, 3d or CBCT scan, is extremely important and should be the Standard of Care as well. Our office has a full view CBCT scan as you can see in the photos below. We are able to reconstruct and rotate the scans to view airway issues, the tmj joint and see what the problem is, the neck to observe for loss of normal curvature or other problems that could a consequence of tmj or vice versa. Degeneration of the joints and the position can also be observed. It truly adds a huge diagnostic component to treating TMJ and influences what treatment is best for the patient and helps predict treatment time as well. It is important to note that the use of a sophisticated software program such as Anatomage, in conjunction the scan that allows such indepth visualization. I cannot imagine treating TMJ without the use of CBCT scans. It is truly a huge part of the puzzle and has revolutionized treatment and diagnosis for those who are up to date. If you have any questions regarding Houston TMJ or Houston Cosmetic Dentistry, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF 713-668-2289