Most of you know that I have been searching for a specialist to treat my TMJ with splints and braces if needed but that I am not interested in surgery. I had my MRI done last Sunday because everyone I called said they would need one and I wanted to get a head start on it. Here is what I am trying to decide and could use your opinions on. In the area I live in there are not alot to choose from for treatment of TMJ. I called my dentist office and they gave me a couple of names and numbers in my town to call. One said they only make a night splint, no other kind and it cost $800.00 and I said thanks and moved on. The second office was kind of dishonest in that they do not have a dentist in full time that treats TMJ. The dentist comes in a day or so a week and sees people from this area. After he evaluates you he refers you to a dentist in the area to do splint therapy and they charge you $125.00 for this referral. The doctor is a surgeon so of course wants to do surgery and doesn't put much effort into splint therapy. I then called an orthodontist who said they do treat TMJ but from what I could get from them it didn't sound like they treat with different types of splints but the first appointment is free. Most of the offices want to refer to this one dentist. The only reason I hesitate to see him is that I used to be a patient of his and he is really expensive. What made me change dentists though was one of my crowns fell off near Christmas and this dentist was going to be gone for a week and he left no emergency dentist for us to contact. His office expected me to sit around for a week with my crown off. So I changed to this other dentist who would see me right away and put my crown back on. He is a very good dentist just that he does not treat TMJ. So, what I am wondering is what would you guys do. Would you wait to see the orthodontists or see this dentist, the one I used to see? I would never go back to him for my dental work but everyone in the area says he is the most experienced in TMJ plus he has my records and he has done all the other x-rays and stuff he would need to make the splint by? What would you guys do?
Did you ever call the neuro. and get your MRI results? From what you've said in the past, you've tried different splints before, so I wouldn't go to a fly by night dentist who makes only one type of splint. With your choices, I'd probably see the dentist that you used to have. Now, is he a specialist when it comes to TMJ, or does he do a little of everything? Since you've dealt with this for so long, and have tried splint therapy before, I'd go to a person that deals with this exclusively. You don't want to be wasting your money on a splint that you've already had or anything 'basic'. Are you only looking in your hometown, or farther out?
Thanks for your reply. I have been looking not only in my town but in neighboring areas. I live in a relatively small community so as you could guess we have relatively few specialists of any kind around here. I can't afford to travel very far to see someone. I have serious financial restraints as my husband has a very bad heart condition and is unable to work and we are fighting to get him on disability so our finances are so tight. There are no dentists in about a 200 mile radius who treat only TMJ so I have to try to do my homework and choose the best of what I have to choose from. I tend to lean the way you are in going back to my old dentist to treat my TMJ problem. He does not treat TMJ exclusively but he has taken extensive training in TMJ. His assistant told me that he took the whole office staff to several of the trainings so they too could learn. He does use different kinds of splints such as the repositioning splints. He uses upper and lower splints and I asked the assistant if he abandons splint therapy quickly and refers patients on to surgery. She said no, unless the patient wants to stop splint therapy and have surgery he will keep working with them. So, from my research it sounds like he most likely has the most experience in this area. The difference between when I saw him before and now is that I have done so much more research on TMJ, I have found all of you guys who also live with the problem and I can share things with all of you and bounce ideas off you and I will go to the appointment prepared with a list of questions that I know what the answers to them should be and if he is feeding me a load of BS I will know it and I will point that out to him. I will not come to him uninformed or ignorant to my condition and I now know that there have been people sucessfully treated with splints and then braces. So, I think you are right, go with him since he has all my records and has already done the tests he would do plus I have my MRI now too. Thanks Cherly, I'm sorry this is so long.
It sounds like you're been doing your homework. The 'old' dentist sounds like your best bet. It sounds promising that he's taken extensive training on tmj therapy, and invited his staff along. 'qualified' tmj specialists aren't in abundance here, either. I do think that you're on the right track with this one. And Tiffany, when you do go to whomever you chose, don't be timid.....ask, ask, and ask more!
[This message has been edited by CherylLynn24 (edited 10-31-2003).]
Thanks for giving me the thumbs up. I try to do my homework and make the best choice I can but then I always second, third and fourth guess myself thinking maybe I am not doing the right thing. Thanks for giving encouragement that I have been studying and trying to make the right choice. None of us can ever know for sure that the decision we make is the right one but what we can do is our homework and try to be a smart patient. I intend to have a list of questions to ask when I see him. Many of these questions I will know what the correct answer to them should be so I will know if he's giving me a line of the old BS. Any questions that you can think of that would be good for me to ask please post them. I will let you know when I get my appointment, what he says and I will also let you know what the MRI showed. Thanks so much Cheryl, you're the best.
I am new to this site.I am 24 and have tmj since I was 15.I can now finally get treatment.I have my first appt. w/ an oral surg soon.my ? for u all is what should I expect?what will they test and do and want to do.I look forward to hearing from u guys.what are all the treatement options?
I am kinda nervious .
Last edited by protemduck; 08-02-2004 at 08:36 PM.