What Is a TMJ Specialist?
The pain caused by TMJ symptoms can be debilitating. As a result, patients suffering from TMJ disorder typically seek out a dentist who specializes in the field—someone highly trained with extensive education and expertise. However, there is no such thing as a TMJ specialist. A common misunderstanding, the dental profession doesn’t have a specific designation for TMJ specialization, and anyone claiming to be one should be scrutinized thoroughly. That being said, people can still select a highly qualified dentist based on a range of criteria. Dr. Arthur Chal, our skilled dentist, utilized the following qualifications to locate a suitable dentist when he experienced TMJ pain, and they are the same standards to which he measures his aptitude as a leading TMJ treatment provider.
Academic and professional credentials: Being recognized as an exceptional dental professional by a panel of peers is one way for a dentist to stand out in the field of TMJ treatment. Dr. Chal, for instance, was previously elected President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the International College of Oral Implantology (FICOI) and the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD). He also considers it a very high honor to have been invited by the American Equilibration Society (AES) to their international meeting in Chicago, Illinois in 2004 to speak about the protocols he developed for TMJ diagnosis and treatment. The conference included an audience of leading dental professionals from over 40 countries.
Mentoring: As there is no designation for TMJ specialization, one of the best ways to receive a comprehensive education and discover the most effective treatment options for the condition will be through a mentorship. Dr. Mark Piper, one of the leading TMJ surgeons in the world, personally advised Dr. Chal, guiding him until he became a preeminent authority on TMJ disorders as well.
Comprehensive diagnosis: TMJ disorders require a high level of sophistication to treat successfully, and the majority of both dentists and physicians have no training in this area. Developing an accurate diagnosis is a complex process that demands advanced training. A dental professional must order a range of medical tests, including a 3D CT and MRI scan, to determine the cause of the pain as well as the extent of the damage, which may include deterioration of the bone, jaw joint, and/or soft tissues. Furthermore, a thorough examination should include the use of models of the person’s teeth and jaw mounted on special dental articulators to evaluate any potential bite problems. These models require a specialized bite positioner to be in place following orthopedic manipulation of the TMJ into its skeletal socket. Once these steps are completed, the dentist can develop a customized treatment plan that uniquely addresses the patient’s needs.
Testimonials: One of a dentist’s most telling accomplishments will be a selection of favorable reviews provided by real patients and an expansive collection of TMJ reconstruction before and after photos. Personal stories of TMJ relief can give people an idea of the potential results and offer a relatable experience that encourages them to seek help for their condition. After Dr. Chal’s comprehensive treatment, many individuals discovered that aches and pains they thought were unrelated to TMD diminished or disappeared entirely.
For more information about the qualifications that make a dentist the best possible choice for TMJ treatment, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chal, please contact our office today.