TMJ Treatment Approach
A commonly misdiagnosed condition, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder requires extensive training and experience to correctly diagnose and to effectively treat. At our practice, we employ an advanced approach that blends the latest technology and the proficiency of several accomplished dental and medical professionals. Dr. Arthur Chal, our hospital-trained dentist and authority on TMJ pain, has completed comprehensive training in TMJ disorder (TMD). He utilizes his personal and professional TMJ knowledge as well as that of his veteran team of experts, including Dr. David Hatcher, Dr. S. Thomas Deahl, Dr. Randy Silberman, and Tanya Rudolph, DRT, to provide an exceptional level of care.
Furthermore, it is essential to carefully analyze each patients bite pattern (occlusion) to properly identify their TMJ/TMD problem(s). This requires mounted model analysis performed on engineering instruments called dental articulators. The American Dental Association has for many years provided a procedure code for this analysis. Unfortunately, in Dr. Chal’s career he has encountered only a handful of patients who have ever had this analysis done. Dr. Peter Dawson and Dr. Mark Piper in Florida have taught that this is an essential requirement for an accurate diagnosis of each tooth or restoration that could be a trigger point for TMJ/TMD pain.
One important thing that you need to know as you seek treatment for TMJ disorder is that the temporomandibular joint is complex and there are many different things that can go wrong. Dr. Chal has treated patients who have had cancerous tumors, benign tumors, active degenerative joint disease, traumatic fractures of bones in the joint, and numerous tears in ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Too many dentists take a similar approach with each patient because their knowledge base simply isn’t broad enough. Thus we see dentists who have trained in full mouth reconstruction who push that procedure for everyone. On the other hand, we see dentists trained in removable orthotic therapy who promote that solution for their patients, and if it doesn’t work, they just refer them to the surgeon for joint reconstruction.
The key to Dr. Chal’s approach is to listen. He will not push any predisposed treatment or product on you. Careful and thorough diagnostics will pinpoint the true problem and then he will create an individualized treatment plan to address it. He uses a true medical model of diagnosis, which is designed to identify and address the underlying TMJ issues based on your unique anatomical needs. We utilize CAT scans, MRIs, and other advanced imaging technology in concert with our team of medical radiologists and oral pathologists to analyze your condition and develop a customized treatment plan. Not only can that eliminate wasted expenditures, but it also can lead directly to a solution.
Let’s illustrate that with two different cases that came to him recently:
The first is a patient named Billy. He came to Dr. Chal at age 73, in excruciating pain. A quick examination showed old, stained restorations and severely worn teeth. Without looking any deeper, a dentist might be tempted to recommend an expensive full-mouth reconstruction. But what Dr. Chal discovered led to a very conservative treatment that completely eliminated his pain.
Read Billy’s TMJ treatment story.
The second is a patient named Lani. She came to Dr. Chal at age 23, and had almost given up hope of having a beautiful, pain-free smile. She had suffered through poor restorative dentistry and orthodontic treatment. Being young, many dentists would be tempted to recommend removable appliance therapy. However, careful examination revealed advanced degenerative joint disease in her left condyle. She required complex treatment from Dr. Chal’s team of experts.
Her result was the beautiful, pain-free smile she had dreamed of.
Read Lani’s TMJ treatment story.
The crowns look and feel better than my natural teeth!...This is concierge dentistry at its finest.”
"I highly recommend Dr. Chal for any esthetic and reconstructive dental problem."
“Absolutely the best dentist I have ever been to!”