Finally saw the tmj doc today. First of all, the splint that my son broke, he said he could repair. (I told him that I'd rather pay for a new one due to the fact that I'm not so sure that can be made straight again. He said that it can, so we'll see. Don't want any more problems) The new splint we got today is an upper. Really thick, and has a wire that goes across the front teeth. I know that this was supposed to be a few hundred, he said, "I'm only going to charge you $35", I don't know if he felt sorry for us because we've already spent $$$ there.
I told him that we had 3 MRI's and they're all ok. Since we go back this friday for the repaired splint, he asked if I could bring them so that he could look for himself. I also told him that the pediatrician wants him to see another ped. neuro and ent that works along with a university, just to get their opinions, even though he's nearly certain that this is a tmjd problem. (first week of June) He said that was a good idea just to be on the safe side. The tmj doc said in his opinion it does seem to be a tmjd problem, he has most of the symptoms.
I brought up his bite. He said there is definitely problems with it, that could cause this type of problem. He said that he can't send him to ortho, move teeth around, or even equilibrate at this time, until we get a handle on the pain. He said he's stumped because the daytime splint he wears (flat plane?) should create a good bite and prevent him from clenching so much and it hasn't. I told him that when he put his teeth together the one side would pop up, and that I couldn't understand how that would create a good bite. He said-that's why you come every month for adjustments. (I told him this the last time we were there, and felt ignored, he did nothing)
As for talk of the pain clinic, I mentioned that the pediatrician said that counseling was ok until we get this under control and possibly accupressure, but he did not want the use of drugs, long term. I also mentioned that the ped. did not think that it was completely stress-related because he knows Mike, he knows what a happy kid he was before all this. His response was simple, "I'll bet his mind changed when he saw that the MRI's were all negetative." I bit my tongue. He said after this 3rd splint, if there isn't any improvement, he doesn't know what else to do.
I must have told him 3 times already that when he had braces, they put metal molar bands on. The left side fell off the first day or so and the right remained there for 3 months. This is similar to having a filling on one of your molars that is too high-you're going to clench down to try to even out your bite. This is when he first started noticing that he was clenching. But, as usual, I feel like I'm talking to myself while there. From researching for months, you can develop tmjd symptoms due to a filling or a crown on a molar that is too high, so why couldn't a metal molar band cause this? Same idea.
Sorry this is a book. Had to vent alittle. Boy, I hope to God that the combination of these 2 splints begin to work. Thanks for listening.
[This message has been edited by CherylLynn24 (edited 10-30-2003).]
You are such a great mom!!!
He is so lucky that you are on his side through all of this. I hope the splint will be able to ease some of his pain once he gets it. Maybe you should try getting him a rolly bag where he could put his splint in a pocket on the side. These types of bags I found release some of my neck and back pain. I also have to carry a lot of books around. why do doctors make it so hard for us to be treated? Don't they realize that we are in pain, and that is why we are there? You will find the answers to Mike's pain, I know you will. I don't know about you but whenever I go to the doctor's office I always think of Cmy Sue. She cracks me up. I try to remember that in order for me to get better I have to ask question and pretty much bug them.
Well, you already know what I think of doctors and I would not have bit my tongue when that pain "specialist" shared that useless bit of sarcasm. I don't know how you keep your mouth shut. I would have told him off so fast his head would have flown off his good for nothing, overpaid shoulders. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dizzy.gif You really have self control but I bet it's more how much you love your son and for that I so admire you Cheryl. I think it's great that this dentist gave you a break on the cost of this splint he made for the top. I guess once in awhile even these jerks have some heart. Personally I think they are all useless windbags. Hang in there. You are a great mother.
He has a case for the splint that he WILL start using when he's in school. As for doctors, alot of them need to take some classes on learning to be compassionate with their patients. Don't they realize that without all of us, they wouldn't have jobs?
You know that I'm right there with you, girl! If I were the one being treated, I wouldn't have stood for his sarcasm, but I have a kid who wants his life back, or at least a piece. So, for now, my hands are tied, money in hand, and mouth zipped. Sucks sometimes!
Thanks to all of you for your support and advice through all of this. If I didn't have all of you to talk to, I'd probably be nuts. I've learned from all of you to ask, ask, ask, and research as much as possible. You're all great!
[This message has been edited by CherylLynn24 (edited 10-30-2003).]
Like I've said earlier, Mike is lucky to have you for a mom. I can tell you that my TMJ started after an improper filling. Back when my trouble started nobody believed me until a found a new DDS (female) that believed me and started slowing grinding it down and I've had some improvement. But found out that my disk has been out of place for so long that I need to see OS and now I need a root canal. It just never stops!!!
I read your posts earlier about the carbon paper. That's what they all used to check my bite with the bad filling. The new DDS did too but still worked on the filling because she said I knew my bite better then the paper!! There we go again with what fits into the "normal" limits of things.
Well, that sure is good news that the MRI's came back okay. But I know it still leaves the question of what to do to help Mike. Hopefully the new splint will work and they can really fix the broken one right. Once they get the pain under control for him maybe they can come up with a plan.
I cannot believe that dentist asking you about a new boyfriend or something like that. Mike's case sounds so much like mine. I never ever clenched my teeth until I had a crown put on that was too big and too high. That is what set off this whole thing. It is like the oral surgeon said to me, the crown was like having a pebble in your shoe, you just know that something is off. Unfortunately by the time anyone would admit that (my new specialist) all the damage was done. He has done some filing on the crown but it didn't completely help since other teeth have shifted from all the clenching I do. But right away they want to blame it on stress. I read some where that kids at the age when they loose their teeth and get new ones are the worst clenchers and grinders because subconciously they are trying to fix their bite. So, why isn't it possible that it can happen to those older too if something changes in their mouth?
Anyway, hopefully things will get better for Mike as time goes on and they get him out of pain. I will let you know what my new splint is like then so we can see if it is the same as his. I go for the impression tomorrow.
Heya Cheryl! So nice that mike has you on his side.. especially since others want to push the problem off onto something they 'think' they can fix. The side trails some people lead you on can make it really hard to stay on track, but you've definately done your homework and seem to know more than the doctors do! Maybe you should become a tmj specialist! heh. I'm glad that the mri's didn't show anything, but at the same time it must be very frustrating cause you don't know where the pain is coming from.
Speaking of which.. what are you doing for your own pain?? Need to take care of yourself too :/
How ya doing? How's that jaw and voice doing? Yeah, this sure is frustrating alright, but it sounds as if I'm not the only one out there dealing with the frustration. Have to go back today to see the guy, can't wait to hear him babble about stress again! I think that I'll give this guy maybe a month or so, and then go find a new doc-by that time he'll probably insist on mental help, anyway. I would think that I'd know my kid better than any doc out there, and my kid sure isn't mental!