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A TMJ disorder may be the result of many different problems related to the jaw joint, from jaw injuries to teeth grinding (bruxism) to arthritis. This makes sense since it is one of the most complicated joints in the human body. Sometimes to address these kinds of problems, corrective jaw surgery is necessary.
Many times a TMJ disorder is able to be treated through non-invasive and non-surgical means, such as orthodontic treatment or the use of a bite guard. Cortisone injections may also be helpful for certain kinds of serious jaw joint problems.
Typically, corrective jaw surgery is used to treat TMJ disorders when less invasive procedures have proven ineffective at improving jaw function and alleviating pain or locking. During a consultation with a dentist, you can find out if corrective jaw surgery is right for you.
Ideal candidates for corrective jaw surgery are people who have significant issues with the proper function of their jaw or jaw joint who cannot be helped through less invasive procedures or means. They should be in good overall health otherwise such that a surgical procedure will not prove a risk to general health and wellness. An understanding of the risks and benefits of jaw surgery is crucial, as are realistic expectations about the nature of the surgery and the recovery process.
When it comes to treating TMJ through surgery, there are three common options:
Arthoscopy – Using miniature telescopic instruments to access and observe and flush the joint, the cartilage can be repaired or adjusted as needed. The incision is made behind the ear.
Arthoplasty – A more invasive surgery than arthoscopy, arthoplasty is a type of open jaw surgery that can repair or replace the disc or ligaments of the joint. The incision is made in front of the ear.
TMJ Joint Replacement – For severe damage to the jaw joint, sometimes the only feasible option to consider is the replacement of the joint itself. A prosthetic joint will be fashioned just for the patient to achieve optimal results.
The exact amount of time you will need off from work following any sort of jaw surgery can vary. In general, arthoplasty and TMJ joint replacement will require more time off just given the nature of these procedures. Changes to your diet may also be necessary following surgery to help with the healing process.
During your consultation, we can go over all of the surgical procedures in greater detail, including the risks and benefits of each procedure and the common side effects you will encounter after undergoing surgery.
For more information about treating TMJ disorders and improving your overall health and wellness, be sure to contact the team at our practice today. The team at our practice will help alleviate dental pain and enhance the appearance of you smile in the process.
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