Many TMJ dentists will say that they understand what you are going through. But there are very few that have personally been treated for TMJ pain. This unique experience combined with internationally-renowned credentials means that Dr. Chal can truly empathize with you.
TMJ is an abbreviation for temporo-mandibular joint. This is the joint that joins the upper and lower jaws. It is highly complex, allowing both rotation and translation. In other words, it is constructed so as to allow your lower jaw to rotate open, like a hinge, or to slide forward or side-to-side.
Because of this, TMJ treatment is similarly complex. There are any number of things that could be wrong, and each requires a different treatment. Pain in the TMJ can come from a traumatic injury, from degenerative joint disease, from bite discrepancies, or from stress. Simple dental school education isn't enough to be an expert in this field. A dentist needs considerable dedicated study beyond dental school.
As far as the disorder itself, TMJ pain can be mild, or it can be severe and debilitating.
Dr. Chal is recognized nationally as a leading authority on TMJ treatment. Here is a partial list of his credentials:
• Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, when they have a patient with TMJ disorder, refer them to Dr. Chal for treatment.
• Dr. Chal also receives referrals from other leading TMJ authorities, including Dr. Mark Piper and Dr. Peter Dawson.
• In 1999, Dr. Chal was elected to membership in the American Equilibration Society. This organization is dedicated to the study and treatment of TMJ disorder.
• In 2004, Dr. Chal was given the high honor of lecturing at the annual meeting of the American Equilibration Society.
There is an entire section of this website devoted to the treatment of TMJ disorder, including case studies of difficult cases that stymied other dentists. Check the menu at the top of this page, under "TMJ," and you'll find twelve subject categories. Some of those pages link to more pages where you will find greater detail.
An interesting place to start may be Dr. Chal's personal story of how he got into TMJ treatment. He started as a TMJ patient, after being injured in an automobile crash. Click the link to read Dr. Chal's personal TMJ experience, and then go on to read about his treatment approach and philosophy, how with careful diagnostic work he determines the precise cause of your pain, and how he never recommends a treatment without giving you an accurate estimation of its chances for success.
And you certainly will want to read the testimonials from TMJ patients has treated. Some of these were regarded by other dentists as hopeless. They are heart warming.