Many of the adult patients we treat have TMJ-related issues that cause them pain and dysfunction. Often these patients may have already had orthodontic treatment as a child that involved the removal of permanent teeth and the use of headgear to push the molars back to make room for erupting teeth.
While many people who have had this kind of orthodontic treatment never experience any complications, for some, the consequent repositioning of the lower jaw into a more backward position can contribute to the development of TMJ disorders.
In these cases, restoration of function and esthetics is much more complicated. We’re utilizing the service of our affiliated doctors at Dental Medicine Providers٭ office to evaluate and treat TMJ dysfunction.
Advanced testing for the best treatment plan.
Our doctors use advanced computerized diagnostic testing to help determine the correct functional position for the teeth, joints, and muscles. Then a removable splint is used to allow the joints and muscles to adjust to the new position before beginning any orthodontic correction. To achieve the best result possible, we utilize all principals of functional orthodontic treatment.
You’ll be pleased to know that all treatments of TMJ dysfunction and associated orthodontic treatments may be covered and paid for by your medical insurance.
TMJ treatment usually occurs in three phases:
Phase 1: A removable splint used to allow the joints and muscles to adjust to the new position before beginning any orthodontic correction. Adjustments to the splint are made if necessary. The patient should be at least one month free of any pain or discomfort before we continue to the next phase.
Phase 2: Patients are fitted with functional appliances to remodel the upper and lower jawbones if needed. Treatment timeframes generally last from 6 to 12 months but sometimes longer.
Phase 3: After the jaws have developed, and all parameters met, patients wear traditional braces to bring the teeth to the established bite position and straighten their teeth if needed. Treatment time typically lasts another 9 to18 months.
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