In the modern world we have become accustomed to instant results. Unfortunately, that is not always possible despite our best efforts and TMJ treatment is one such situation. While many people would prefer to get TMJ surgery rather than undergo weeks of TMJ treatment there are some major problems with this option. Dr. Padolsky and many other TMJ dentists believe that surgery should be an absolute last resort option, only to be used after ALL other treatment options have failed. This is because there are many instances where TMJ surgery has actually CAUSED more problems without even solving the problems it was meant to solve.
There are different TMJ surgery options but if we have anything to learn from history it is that nobody should rush into surgery and such complex joints. In the 1980’s a procedure where a material called Silastic was being placed into the joints became extremely popular and was highly recommended by many dentists. Of course it actually created problems and had to be surgically removed later on. Other procedures like joint replacement generally do not address the actual problem – the alignment of the joints! Surgery is expensive and results are often permanent, if you don’t get the desired results you’ve just wasted time and money.
If a patient’s bite is off and forces the joint into a bad position, no TMJ surgical procedure is going to correct the bad bite. Before any surgery is done the EXACT cause of the problem unique to each case must be diagnosed. Once this has been done TMJ treatment options can be explored. Only after all of these treatment options have been thoroughly and systematically exhausted will TMJ surgery be recommended. When this is done the surgery option must be one that reflects the cause of TMJ Disorder unique to each case.
There are several TMJ surgery options that your dentist can choose from when recommending surgery. Disc repositioning is meant to address the placement of the disc within the joint. Articular eminence recon touring smoothes the articular eminence. Joint replacement uses metal to either partially or completely replace the joint. Again it is important to state that these procedures are permanent and if they do not fix the disorder then you’ve only wasted money and effort on something that might even have made the problem worse.
© 2012 Dr Mark Padolsky - Atlanta TMJ Dentist | 1624 Piedmont Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30324 | 404-876-8123