I went to a dentist about jaw pain. He said I have TMJ and ordered a full-mouth reconstruction. He’s given me the temporaries, but nothing feels right. Is it too late to change my mind?
I cringed after reading your question. I hate when I hear things like this. I’m curious as to why your dentist went straight to a full-mouth reconstruction. There are much more conservative treatments which should be tried first. The exception being that your case was extraordinarily bad. Based on your description above that didn’t seem to be the case.
If you’ve already received your temporaries that means your teeth have already been ground down. The only thing which can be placed on your teeth now are porcelain crowns. It’s too late to switch the procedure, but not too late to switch your dentist. In fact, if your temporaries aren’t fitting properly it might be prudent to find a more experienced TMJ dentist. A poorly done full mouth reconstruction can make your TMJ much worse.
Finding the Right TMJ Dentist to Fix This
I’d like you to get a consultation with a well trained TMJ specialist. Don’t confuse me saying specialist with a recognized specialty. There is not a TMJ specialty. However, there are dentists who invest a great deal of time in training in TMJ.
Do NOT hesitate to ask a dentist where they received their TMJ training. Dental school is not enough. There needs to be post-doctoral training involved. Here are some reputable institutes. He or she should list at least one of these:
- The Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies
- The Dawson Academy
- Spear Institute
- The Kois Center
- The Pankey Institute
They are the type of dentists who can give you a properly functioning smile.
You have another issue to consider. Obviously, functionality is of primary importance; however, we’re also talking about your smile here. It’s the first thing people notice about us and, right or wrong, we’re often judged by the condition of our teeth.
You’ll want an experienced and artistic cosmetic dentist. In your place, I’d want an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They can guarantee you a gorgeous, natural looking smile.
I know it’s no short order to find an expert in TMJ who is also an accredited cosmetic dentist, but they do exist. Dr. Hadgis is one of them. You didn’t mention what area you’re from but you can look at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website to find them in your area.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.