TMJ disorders can be frustrating, especially when non-surgical options aren’t working. If you’ve been trying to relieve your pain with mouth guards or pain medication but aren’t seeing any results, it may be time to consider TMJ surgery. There are several different types of TMJ surgery, and the right option will depend on your unique situation. You can use the information below to start this conversation with your doctor so you can make the right decision going forward.
Can Surgery Fix TMJ Disorders?
Can Surgery Fix TMJ Pain?
There are a number of treatments available for TMJ disorders, such as medication, physical therapy, and splints. However, these options only really work for mild to moderate cases of TMJ pain. If your TMJ pain is more severe you’ll need to consider surgery. TMJ surgery helps address issues in the jaw joint such as a displaced disc or damage.
In this post, we’ll explore how surgery can treat TMJ pain. We’ll also look at how to know if TMJ surgery is right for you.
We don’t recommend TMJ surgery to everyone. But if you’re struggling with TMJ pain, it’s important to understand the different treatment options available to you. By learning more about how surgery treats TMJ pain, you can make an informed decision for your unique situation.
Let’s dive in!
Can Surgery Treat TMJ Pain?
Yes, for some patients surgery can treat TMJ pain. However, you need a thorough diagnosis to be sure that surgery is right for you.
Knowing the anatomy of the jaw joint helps us understand how surgery can treat TMJ surgery for some patients. The jaw joint is similar to the other joints in your body. Like other joints, the TMJ has two bones joined together that make it possible for your jaw to move. Inside the joint, ligaments hold everything in place. Tendons and cartilage also play an important role in how the joint functions.
One of the most important parts of the jaw joint is the synovial disc. This disc contains fluid that lubricates and provides nutrients for the joint. The synovial disc is crucial in keeping your TMJ moving well.
Treating the TMJ Like Other Joints
When we treat TMJ disorders, we need to keep anatomy in mind. It’s helpful to find a doctor or dentist who takes an orthopedic approach to TMJ disorders. This means they treat the TMJ like they would treat the knee or hip. They consider the anatomy and examine everything carefully before going ahead with treatment.
And they know that, sometimes, you need TMJ surgery.
When Can Surgery Fix TMJ Disorders?
So, how do you know when you need TMJ surgery? As we’ve already stated, you should probably start considering TMJ surgery when other treatment options haven’t worked.
You need TMJ surgery when there are issues with your disc. You may need surgery in order to repair, reposition, or even replace the disc. Other times, surgery may be necessary to simply flush out the joint.
In some situations, surgery is the only option from the start. In other situations, surgery is necessary because the jaw joint hasn’t been cared for properly. One of the most common situations we see is patients who come in and their joint has so much damage simply because they didn’t get it treated earlier. Non-surgical treatments are most effective early on. So if your jaw joint is injured or you notice pain, you need to start treating it early in order to avoid surgery.
What Types of TMJ Surgery Are Available?
There are several different types of TMJ surgery. The right one for you will depend on your diagnosis. The most common options include:
- Arthroscopy: This procedure involves inserting a small tube into the joint through a small cut. From there, your surgeon can use a camera to look at the joint and even operate on the joint directly.
- Arthrocentesis: The most minimally invasive procedure, arthrocentesis involves using needles to flush the joint with a saline solution.
- Open joint surgery: Open joint surgery is the most invasive type of TMJ surgery. An incision is made in front of your ear, allowing the surgeon to operate on your joint. They can repair, replace, or reposition the disc.
How Do I Know If I Need TMJ Surgery?
The best way to determine whether or not surgery will solve your TMJ issues is to get a thorough diagnosis from a doctor or dentist who is familiar with how the jaw joint functions. By performing a physical exam and getting images of the joint, they will be able to find the root cause of your pain. Determining the root cause will make it easier for them to help you decide whether or not you should move forward with surgery.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor/Dentist
- What type of surgery would you recommend and why?
- If surgery isn’t right for me, what are my other options?
- Is physical therapy an option?
- What are the potential risks of surgery?
Can Surgery Cure TMJ Pain?
In conclusion, TMJ disorders can be debilitating and impact your daily life. While surgery may be an option for some patients, it is important to approach it with caution and after exploring other treatment options. It’s also important to find a qualified surgeon who can evaluate your individual case and provide you with the best possible care.
If you’re experiencing TMJ pain, we encourage you to talk to your doctor or a specialist to explore all of your treatment options, including surgery. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about your healthcare and find a solution that works best for you.
We hope that this post has helped you to understand more about TMJ disorders and the role that surgery can play in their treatment. If you’d like to learn more about TMJ surgery, we encourage you to reach out to a qualified specialist or surgeon who can provide you with more information and guidance. Remember, taking proactive steps to address your TMJ pain can improve your quality of life and help you get back to doing the things you love.
Specialists, D. I. (2021, August 25). Surgery For TMJ | Everything You Need To Know [Guide]. Dental Implant & Specialist Centre. https://goldcoastimplantspecialist.com.au/news/surgery-for-tmj-everything-you-need-to-know-guide/
When to Have TMJ Surgery. (2019, January 24). Gentle Dental. https://www.interdent.com/gentle-dental/resources/when-to-have-tmj-surgery/
TMJ Surgery: Everything You Need to Know. (2022, July 15). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/tmj-surgery-4172982
Can surgery fix TMJ disorders?
Dealing with TMJ pain can be frustrating. It can be even more frustrating when you can’t find a solution that works. Most TMJ disorders can be resolved with conservative, non-surgical treatment options. Simply resting the joint, using ice/heat therapy, and taking pain medication typically does the trick. However, these things don’t work for everyone. If these more conservative options aren’t working for you, it may be time to consider whether or not surgery can solve your TMJ problems.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how TMJ surgery can help you find relief and whether it’s worth considering for your situation.
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