Dental phobia is a serious condition that can prevent those who struggle with it from seeking needed care for their teeth and gums. Increased anxiety or general discomfort with dental visits is far from uncommon, but its consequences can be profound – and if fear of the dentist is preventing you from seeking treatment for TMJ, serious systemic health issues may become unavoidable.
Houston TMJ dentist Dr. Ronald Konig offers safe and comfortable sedation dentistry options for men and women who struggle with dental phobia. Give us a call at 713-425-1302 to schedule a consultation and learn how this option can help make seeking treatment for your TMJ much more comfortable and rewarding.
There can be a number of symptoms caused by TMJ, but not all of them are clearly linked to misalignment of the jaw. Clicking, popping, or grinding noises when biting and chewing are a clear indication of TMJ. So too is pain in and around the jaw joint. Other issues, such as chronic headaches, may not seem to be related to the disorder.
During routine visits to our office, the alignment of the jaw is carefully examined to determine if TMJ is present. If your struggle with dental phobia prevents you from maintaining these appointments, less obvious signs of the disorder may continue to go untreated or, equally troublesome, be treated incorrectly.
Symptoms of TMJ that may not seem to be related to the jaw include:
- Frequent headaches
- Generalized facial pain
- Pressure in the sinus or nasal cavities
- Tinnitus (ear ringing) and/or ear pressure and pain
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain
Because these symptoms may not seem to point to TMJ, the idea of visiting a dentist to discuss them may never come up. This is especially true for men and women who struggle with dental anxiety and may be prone to avoid visiting the dentist in the first place.
If you are suffering any of these symptoms, we strongly encourage you to use the contact form on this page or call the Konig Center for Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dentistry to discuss both your symptoms and the services we offer that can make your visit more comfortable.
Why Treat TMJ?
If TMJ is the underlying cause of your discomfort, failure to seek treatment can result in a number of serious issues. In many cases, chronic pain is treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications that are linked to addiction, organ damage, and, in extreme cases, death. Avoiding daily use of analgesics and opioids is always better for your body. However, daily use of potentially dangerous medications is not the only consequence that may be related to untreated TMJ.
When left untreated, TMJ may result in:
- Chronic pain
- Postural changes
- Loss of sensation in arms or fingers
- Digestive issues
- Tooth loss
A 2012 study conducted at the University of Greifswald, Germany, suggests that TMJ may also increase risks for anxiety and depression, marking two more reasons it is essential that you seek treatment, regardless of dental phobia, as soon as symptoms present themselves.
How we Treat TMJ
At our Houston office, we treat TMJ in phases. This enables Dr. Konig to address pain first and move from there to the underlying condition.
To treat the pain related to TMJ, Dr. Konig may recommend:
- TENS therapy
- Pain release splints
- Myofunctional therapy
Medications, moist heat, and physical therapy may be used to manage TMJ pain as well. During the course of your treatment, Dr. Konig will offer all modalities needed to restore comfort to your jaw.
After pain has been relieved, the focus of your TMJ treatment will shift to correcting the underlying problem. To accomplish this, Dr. Konig may recommend:
- Implant dentistry
- Occlusal equilibration
Only by addressing the underlying problem can TMJ truly be treated. Only when treated properly will the symptoms of TMJ be prevented from coming back.
Dr. Konig has been voted Houston’s Best TMJ Dentist by readers of Living Magazine and has been recognized as a Top Dentist by Houstonia Magazine. By offering personalized treatments for TMJ, Dr. Konig has found great success in eliminating the painful and limiting symptoms of this common disorder for men and women living throughout the Houston area. Contact us to schedule your consultation and learn how Dr. Konig can help you find lasting relief from TMJ.
How we Treat Dental Phobia
If you struggle with dental phobia, Dr. Konig offers a few sedation options that may be of great benefit. These include:
- Nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide provides a mild level of sedation
- Conscious oral sedation – administered in pill form, oral sedation allows for more complete sedation without a loss of consciousness
- IV sedation – for deep sedation, intravenous administration of medications may be best. IV sedation, sometimes called sleep or twilight dentistry, is the deepest form of sedation available
When you visit our office to discuss TMJ treatment, Dr. Konig can provide you with additional information about sedation dentistry. If it will prove useful for your procedure, Dr. Konig will guide you towards the method that will be of most benefit.
Dental phobia or fear of the dentist is one reason people may avoid seeking treatment for TMJ, but it is not the only discomfort – emotional or physical – that can be addressed through sedation dentistry. During your initial consultation, we will listen closely to your concerns about dental treatment and may suggest sedation if you have:
- Sensitive teeth
- An overactive gag-reflex
- Difficulties responding to topical analgesics
- Restless leg syndrome
Sedation can be used to address any number of discomforts that may surround dental visits, enabling you to feel safe and at ease before and during your appointment. If you believe you could benefit from sedation, talk to Dr. Konig today. Your comfort is one of our top priorities and we will work individually with you to help make sure it is maintained at all times while you are in our care.
Contact the Konig Center for Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dentistry
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ, now is the best time to call 713-425-1302 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Konig. During this visit, we can discuss sedation as appropriate to ensure we are offering you all services needed to provide you with lasting relief.
The Konig Center for Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dentistry is located in Houston. Dr. Konig welcomes patients living in The Woodlands, Conroe, King, Katy, Sugar Land, and all surrounding areas of Texas.