TMJ pain most often can be treated and stabilized non-surgically. Every case is different as TMJ affects and manifest itself in many ways. This lady presented with a cosmetic concern and wanted porcelain veneers on her teeth as she was not happy with the appearance of her smile, her overbite, or the way the teeth tipped backwards. A discussion revealed that she had headaches, neck aches, and snoring as well.
Worn and damaged teeth due to TMJ Bite
Veneers Restoring Smile to Correct Bite
Observe over closed bite and crooked smile
Bite restored and veneers to restore smile: note even smile and overbite corrected
Little did she realize that these were TMJ issues that were related to her bite (the way her teeth meet together). Nor did she realize that the worn teeth and chipping teeth were also due to her TMJ and bite. Please note the patient had a past history of 4 bicuspid extractions with braces and had no desire to do braces again.
The options were to try and do veneers without fixing the bite and know that the same damage will occur to the veneers over time or correct her TMJ issues, correct the bite, and have a nice smile that will last a long time with no pain or headaches.
In this case, bite management treatment to non-surgically realign her bite, jaws, and neck to a better physiologic relationship was first completed. This was done with computerized biometrics and a fixed orthotic. the fixed orthotic in the case was only needed on the lower back teeth. This can be considered a "test drive" bite as it allows to ascertain comfort and healing before any long term or irreversible care is completed.
This established the correct position for her bite to be restored to. No full mouth reconstruction was needed. Only the bottom four teeth were necessary. The upper eight veneers were done for cosmetic and functional reasons. Her desire was for a very natural-appearing smile.
What are the benefits of TMJ?
- No more headaches
- No more neck aches
- Stable bite
- Beautiful smile
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If you have questions regarding TMJ pain or TMJ headaches, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289.