TMJ Treatment Albuquerque
If you are in need of TMJ treatment, Dr. Tim Kelly in Albuquerque can provide you with substantial long-term relief. The headaches, facial pain and other effects of TMJ disorder can be agonizing. Unfortunately, many sufferers do not realize the relationship between their bite and these painful symptoms. Dr. Kelly is an expert in TMJ disorder, and can use advanced diagnostics to determine the correct position of your jaw. He can then perform the highly customized restorative dental treatments necessary to achieve and maintain that position.
The Diagnosis of TMJ Disorders
A thorough diagnostic process by a trained dentist is a must. By using a variety of diagnostic tools Dr. Kelly is able to combine years of experience to understand the complexity, diagnosis and treatment of the TMJ and related disorders. The diagnostic records include but are not limited to the gathering of clinical data using:
- Mounted models on a chewing simulator instrument
- State of the art 3D radiographic imaging called a CBCT Scan
- Clinical photographic survey
- Oral and muscular evaluation
Treatment of TMJ Disorders
TMJ symptoms rarely subside without treatment. It is usually best to avoid overuse of the jaw muscles by eating soft foods, cutting food into small bites, avoid chewing gum, chewy or sticky food. Ice and OTC (over the counter) ibuprofen are first line treatments for acute pain in or around the TMJ’s followed by warm moist heat in some instances.
We try to avoid using pharmaceuticals at all costs. However, if OTC pain relievers are not strong enough then prescription medication may be warranted. If a bite discrepancy is discovered, an orthopaedic repositioning of the TMJ’s relative to the cranial base gives the body the best chance to feel better.
This splint called a Biologic Orthopaedic Positioner is adjusted on a regular basis, the goal being to align and stabilize the mandible. This splint a diagnostic tool which initiates the healing process and quite often patients begin to feel an improvement. It is a complex system, but if we give the body what it needs it has the ability to respond favorably. Many notice a decrease in headaches, less head and neck pain, and many say that they sleep better. It usually takes anywhere from 8-12 weeks of full time Positioner wear to allow your body to adapt and get to a stable joint position of the TMJ’s.
Permanent treatment to maintain this ideal mandibular jaw position can now be discussed. Every individual is different and the treatments vary from one patient to the next. However there are common goals for treatment, by having an understanding of how the healthy chewing system functions we can design a specific plan to maintain your health and comfort.
Corrective dental treatment that improves the bite and its relationship to the TMJs can only be attempted after a correct diagnosis is established and proven as the cause of the symptoms. This type of treatment is considered non-reversible and may include orthodontic treatment, adjusting of the bite, and replacement of tooth form that has been damaged due the bite discrepancy.
Surgery is usually not necessary in tooth position to jaw joint position discrepancies unless the size of the discrepancy warrants orthognathic (jaw) surgery to align the upper and lower jaw. Surgery of the joints themselves is usually only warranted in acute injury situations such as whiplash or in instances of bone tumors and complete disc displacement.
“We believe that every patient has infinite worth and should be treated with dignity and respect. We are dedicated to educating, creating awareness, and empowering people to make treatment choices that are consistent with their own beliefs, needs and desires.” Dr. Tim Kelly