I’ve been to two different TMJ Dentists and both times my situation ended up worse. The first time I was with my dentist and mentioned headaches. He told me it is probably because I grind my teeth and the situation is to crown all my teeth. It wasn’t done correctly, and my bite ended up at a slant. I managed to grind those down too and was in more pain than ever. I went to see another dentist who called himself a TMJ specialist. He placed me in some kind of bite splint for two years. Now my bite is too far forward on my lower jaw. The pain is unbearable. I don’t know who to turn to at this point. What do you recommend?
One of the problems you are facing is that being a TMJ Dentist is not really a specialty. Any dentist can call themselves a TMJ dentist, regardless of the amount of post-doctoral training they have. It seems you have been seen by two dentists who did procedures that were over their heads. The first dentist botched your full-mouth reconstruction. This is one of the most advanced procedures in dental work and does require a great deal of post-doctoral training. Then, when your procedure was done, knowing you were a teeth grinder he should have provided you with a mouthguard. For that matter, why didn’t he provide you with a mouth guard to begin with? Why wait until your teeth were ground down and you needed them to be crowned? He was not serving your best interest.The second dentist left you in the orthotic way too long. These are meant to be temporary.
So, where do you go from here? They have left you with a serious case of TMJ Disorder at this point. You need a dentist with the training to give you proper treatment. I would look for someone who trained at the Dawson Academy, the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, or the Kois Center. All of these have excellent TMJ Training Programs.
One other bit of advice. Do not think you have to choose between form and function. Whatever crowns your new dentist places, the first thing you need to make certain of is that your crowns fit comfortably. They should feel perfectly natural and your bite come together naturally. In addition to that, you want them to look beautiful. When they are placed, make sure the dentist does it with a temporary try-in paste. You should get a chance to look at the aesthetics of the bite in several different lightings. If you are not happy with how they look, then you need to have the dentist send them back and redo them until you are. A patient deserves a healthy, natural bite that looks beautiful as well.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.