Eliminate Jaw Pain and Discomfort with TMJ Disorder Surgery
If conservative therapies have not been successful, and you can no longer bear the headaches or jaw pain related to TMJ disorder, a more extensive treatment such as TMJ disorder surgery may be the best solution. At his Brooklyn Heights, New York, practice, Dr. Eugene D. Stanislaus can explain the surgery options available for TMJ disorder. Contact Brooklyn Heights Dental today to learn how you can eliminate the unpleasant side effects of a misaligned jaw.
TMJ Disorder: The Basics
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder results from a misalignment of the joint that connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. As one of the most used joints in the body, your TMJ is particularly vulnerable to injury. If the cushioning cartilage disc in the joint moves out of position, or if any damage occurs in the surrounding muscles, ligaments, or bone, TMJ disorder can develop. Teeth grinding, trauma, and arthritis are some of the most common causes of the condition. Patients often notice clicking or popping noises when they open their jaw, as well as pain and difficulty moving the joint. The inflammation that results from the misalignment can be painful and difficult to manage.
What are My Surgery Options?
Surgery is often recommended for severe cases of TMJ disorder, when less invasive options have failed. Patients whose jaws are dislocated, severely worn down, or cannot open are candidates for TMJ disorder surgery. Depending on the severity of your case, we may recommend one of three surgical procedures:
Arthrocentesis: This minor procedure is usually enough to correct locked jaws in patients who have no major history of TMJ disorder. Dr. Stanislaus will insert needles into the jaw joint to thoroughly wash the joint with sterile solution. This should help increase mobility, and remove any excess scar tissue. A lubricant or medication may also be injected into the affected area at this time, depending on your case. Dr. Stanislaus can also remove damaged tissue or dislodge a stuck disc or joint, if necessary. The surgery is performed under light anesthesia, and can usually be completed in our office
Arthroscopy: Rather than opening up the entire joint to operate, we can use an arthroscope to guide the surgery. An arthroscope is a small camera that will be inserted through a small incision, allowing us to see the joint using a video monitor. Dr. Stanislaus will then correct your misalignment by either removing damaged or loose tissue or realigning the joint. There are fewer complications with this procedure than a more extensive surgery. There is also a short recovery period and smaller scars. This procedure is typically done in an outpatient facility at a hospital, under general anesthesia.
Open joint surgery: Sometimes called arthroplasty, this procedure involves opening the TMJ, to expose the jaw and realign the joint, remove damaged tissue, or repair the discs. While more invasive than other options, open joint surgery may be necessary if there are tumors, severe scarring, bone chips, or if the jaw is severely worn. Patients can expect a longer recovery period and larger scars with this procedure. Open joint surgery is typically done in an outpatient facility at a hospital, under general anesthesia.
Conservative, non-surgical treatments for TMJ disorder are typically favored, when possible. Common alternative treatments include:
- Strengthening exercises: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the joint and prevent further damage.
- Oral appliances: Mouth guards can help by gradually realigning your bite as you sleep, preventing unconscious grinding.
- Dental work: Crowns, bridges, and braces can help realign your teeth and bite.
- Reducing pain: Eating soft foods, medication, and applying heat or cold packs can help manage pain and inflammation.
Contact Us Today
At Brooklyn Heights Dental, we are committed to providing every patient with the most comprehensive care possible. Schedule your consultation today, to learn how surgery can help eliminate the discomfort caused by TMJ disorder.
"I've been very happy with my experiences at Dr. Stanislaus's office, and highly recommend him to anyone in the New York City area. He and his staff go above and beyond to do the best job possible."-R.B. (Patient)