Temporomandibular Joint Therapy (TMJ)

TMJ Treatment Arlington, TX

Splint therapy may provide relief for those with TMJ problems such as: pain and tightness in jaw, headaches, restricted jaw movement/opening, stiff neck, ringing and/or aching in the ears, popping and clicking noises in the joints, and clenching & grinding of the teeth. Most problems result from the dysfunction of jaw muscles and joints, traumatic injuries such as a blow to the jaw, teeth missing or misaligned, clenching and grinding of teeth, emotional stress, etc.

A splint (mouthpiece) is a removable appliance worn over the teeth to passively reposition the lower jaw to its physiologically most stable position. Due to the complexity of the joints there is no assurance that all symptoms will go away or improve. Therefore the splint therapy is not just treatment, but also a diagnostic tool for us to determine what is happening in the joints. Dr. Daggula may recommend an extensive occlusal (bite) analysis and muscle testing be performed in order to make the diagnosis of how she is going to treat your symptoms.

Possible Risks & Complications

The type of treatment methods we use are based on our experience, skill, and knowledge to be the most proven, appropriate, and conservative methods. However, as with any medical or dental treatment, there are always some substantial risks and complications with any treatment. 

Some of these risks and complications include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of improvement or worsening of pain & jaw dysfunction
  • Resultant malocclusion and/or limited jaw opening
  • Further degenerative changes in the TMJ
  • Decreased lower jaw motion
  • Noises in the TMJ

TMJ Treatment Time

Length of treatment may vary according to the complexity of your condition. Although most conditions respond well to treatment, general health, stress, degree of injury, posture, age, work habits, bite relationships, etc. do affect the outcome. Total resolution is not always possible. In general, TMJ treatment will be more lengthy if the symptoms are severe or if the problem has existed for a long time. 

The length of treatment with a splint can be as short as 1-2 months or as long as 1-2 years, with the average 5-10 months. In many cases after splint treatment it may be necessary to have a full mouth equilibration (bite adjustment) to level the bite, and if so an additional fee will apply. This treatment could cause tooth sensitivity to develop which then may require additional dental procedures to be performed, and any costs thus incurred are the patient’s responsibility. In addition, equilibration may result in holes in existing crowns, sometimes necessitating them to be remade at an additional charge.

Importance of Proper Diagnosis

Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint can mimic other dental and medical problems. A proper diagnosis regarding head and neck pain is very important, because serious medical problems such as vascular disorders, brain tumors, aneurisms, cervical disc disorders, throat and oral cancer, etc. can produce similar symptoms of TMJ disorders. It is important to inform our office of any changes in your health history form that was previously provided.

If you think you may have TMJ, come see our Arlington, TX dentist Dr Daggula! She has extensive experience with TMJ disorder and can help determine if splint therapy is best for you. Call Lake Castle Dentistry today at (817) 465-0355 to book an appointment!


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