TMJ disorders can be uncomfortable and in some cases, painful. Some of them may go away eventually. However, if your symptoms don’t go away, Wellington TMJ dentists may recommend various treatment options.
Medication is often used in combination with other treatment options such as surgical and non-surgical options. Most of these medications are given to relieve pain. In the case when over-the-counter medications are not enough, your TMJ dentist can prescribe stronger options. In some cases, the dentist may also recommend muscle relaxants as pain relief. In extreme cases of teeth clenching in which the patient may wake up in a lot of pain, dentists are known to prescribe sedatives such as Klonopin to allow patients to sleep better.
The treatment options that most dentists prescribe include night guards or splints. These are plastic mouthpieces that fit the upper and lower teeth in order to prevent clenching and grinding that can result in the pain. These are also used to help correct the bite by allowing the teeth to be properly positioned or at the most comfortable position.
Corrective dental treatments are also performed by TMJ dentists to allow the jaw to rest properly. These treatments include braces, bridges and crowns to replace missing teeth, balance out the biting surfaces and to correct the alignment of the teeth to create the proper bite.
In some cases, TMJ disorders require surgery to correct the problem. These come in three types (arthroscopy, arthrocentesis and open joint surgery) and are only recommended when all other treatment options fail. Arthrocentesis is a dental surgicacl procedure where the affected joint is washed and fitted with needles to allow proper movement. Arthroscopy is performed by making an incision in front of the ear and using a small thin device to examine the problem area. In some cases, the procedure may involve the removal of inflamed tissue and realigning the condyle or disc. This is a preferred option to open surgery as the scarring, complications and recovery time are much lower. However, open joint surgery is recommended in certain extreme cases.
Additionally, TMJ dentists will also offer the necessary advice for patients to correct their bite, jaw alignment and to reduce pain.