Q. Does TMJ treatment work?
A. The vast majority of cases we treat are successfully managed through the use of orthotic appliances and / or a combination of orthotic appliance and physical therapy to reduce symptoms and accelerate healing.
Q. Are all dentists similar in training and experience with treating TMJ?
A. No. It is advisable to research the training level and experience of your treating dentist to determine their success rate and skill level in the area of TMJ treatment. Dr. Hagood has advanced training in the area of TMJ treatment through The Piper Education and Research Center (Pipererc.com), The Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Study (Pankey.org), and Spear Education (SpearEducation.com) where he serves as visiting faculty in addition to over 12 years of successfully treating TMJ disorders.
Q. Can I just buy a mouth guard at the store and treat TMJ disorder myself?
A. This is generally not advisable. Self care with these non-adjustable devices can put additional strain on already damaged jaw joints. They may also cause an individual to grind their teeth even more at night and thus worsen the symptoms.
Q. What happens to the 5% of patients who are not successfully treated via professionally designed and managed orthotic appliances?
A. The vast majority of TMJ patients – perhaps in the 95% range – respond positively to non-surgical, “conservative” therapies.In a small number of cases, conservative therapies render no significant level of improvement. In this group of patients, the amount of breakdown of the internal joint structures is so severe that they cannot achieve comfort or normal functioning without some level of surgical intervention.
It is important to understand that TMJ surgery has a long history of mixed outcomes and many failures. This fact alone creates a bias in the minds of many people today toward selecting surgery as a definitive option. You may therefore hear from one or more people something like “TMJ surgery never works”. It is also important to understand that the reason why so many TMJ surgeries have been unsuccessful is that the techniques and approaches used were underdeveloped, misapplied, or to some degree experimental.
TMJ surgery moved past the point of experimentation when Mark Piper, MD, DDS started to study the problems and create real solutions over 25 years ago. Mark has been successfully providing TMJ surgery solutions for over 25 years now and has over 20,000 documented cases to support his surgical approaches as well as how they work out over long periods of time. www.piperclinic.com
TMJ Disorder FAQ