Suffering from TMJ symptoms? Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Fick, our downtown Madison TMJ dentist.
An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder, which is caused by bite misalignment that originates at the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). This is the joint that connects your top and bottom jawbone. People who suffer from TMJ experience aggravating symptoms, often without realizing that their dentist could provide relief.
- Chronic headaches
- Popping, clicking, pain or sensitivity in the jaw
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tinnitus (ringing) in the ears
- Even chronic pain in the neck or shoulders can be caused by TMJ disorder
Many of our patients are surprised, and ecstatic, to learn that TMJ therapy can help them live without pain! Dr. Brian Fick, who has advanced training in TMJ Therapy, is part of our First Choice Dental Park Street team. Like our other dentists, he practices comfort-conscious care, plus he’s a TMJ expert — which means he can help align your jaw and bite to alleviate chronic headaches and the other symptoms mentioned above.
If I do have TMJ disorder, what’s involved in treatment?
Typically, TMJ headache therapy treatment follows these three steps:
Relieve Muscle Spasms and Pain
The immediate concern of a neuromuscular dentist is to provide relief of your symptoms. We use a technology called ULF-TENS to help with pain relief by stimulating the body's production of endorphins, which is a natural anesthetic.
Stabilize the Bite
Often, a temporary device known as an orthotic is worn over the teeth. This device, which is made of plastic, allows your dentist to make easy adjustments to align and stabilize your bite without directly adjusting the teeth. Once TMJ symptoms have dissipated, and the bite has been stabilized, your headache therapy dentist will move on to the next step and permanently adjust your bite to the correct position.
There are a variety of ways to correct your bite in a more permanent way. Once we’ve relieved your initial pain and stabilized your bite, Dr. Fick will likely take one of the following paths for long-term treatment.
Long-term TMJ Treatment Possibilities Include:
- Coronoplasty (Equilibration): Coronoplasty is the smoothing and reshaping of the enamel of the teeth to correct your bite. It is a simple procedure that does not require anesthesia, and can be used if your bite is only slightly misaligned (mild TMJ).
- Removable Overlay Partials: These are permanent orthotics that typically fit over the back teeth. Overlay partials are designed to maintain an aligned bite.
- Reconstruction: This approach involves making the teeth higher by using crowns. This permanently realigns the bite and provides structural support for the jaw.
- Orthodontics (Braces): When the teeth are healthy, TMJ may be addressed by moving teeth to their optimal position through the use of braces. Dr. Fick regularly works in partnership with a First Choice orthodontist to integrate orthodontic treatment into his TMJ therapy strategy.
Ready to learn more?
Schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Fick at our downtown Madison dental office. The consultation includes an exam and treatment discussion with your TMJ dentist. There’s absolutely no charge, and no obligation, to learn more and to see if TMJ therapy is the right choice for you.
You can also call us with questions, or schedule your free consultation by phone at: (608) 251-3535.
Thank you for visiting First Choice Dental!