Temporomandibular joint disorder is a broad term that refers to pain or dysfunction of the hinged joint where the lower jaw articulates with the skull.
Pain or dysfunction relating to the TMJ is simplistically broken into three main categories based on anatomical location:
- Myofascial Pain – pain in the muscles used for chewing (mastication)
- Bone Disorders – arthritis (inflammatory or degenerative processes) of the mandibular condyle
- Disc Derangement – displacement or derangement of a small disc that sits between the jaw and the skull
Diagnosis of facial pain can be difficult as the anatomy of the head and neck is very complex!
Additional investigations such as: x-rays, CT scans or MRI scans may be required to formulate a diagnosis.
Non-surgical management is often trialled prior to any invasive treatment and the team at Sunshine Coast Oral, Facial & Implant Specialists may work with Physiotherapists, your Dentist or Prosthodontist to prescribe exercises or splints.
Surgical treatment varies widely and is completely tailored to an individual patient and often only offered in a very select few where non-surgical management has failed.
Some of the TMJ surgical procedures offered by Dr Trent Lincoln at Sunshine Coast Oral, Facial & Implant Specialists include:
- Arthrocentesis – ‘washing out & injecting steroid’ into the TMJ
- Arthroscopy – placing a small camera into the TMJ to visualise & treat conditions relating to the disc and capsule complex
- Discectomy – removal of the articular disc if diseased or damaged
In severe cases of bony Temporomandibular Joint Destruction failing alleviation of symptoms with non-surgical measures, Drs Trent Lincoln at Sunshine Coast Oral, Facial & Implant Specialists are one of the few surgeons in Queensland able to offer:
- Temporomandibular Joint Replacement
The joint is replaced using a custom-made titanium replacement and is similar (although on a smaller scale!) to replacement of other bodily joints such as the hip or knee.