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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 09-04-2003, 11:06 AM   #1
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Post Teeth impressions - limited opening

I need to get impressions made for a splint, but my mouth won't open very far at all, maybe 20mm?

I'm sure some other people with limited openings on this forum have at one time or another needed impressions for a splint. What did you do to get the impressions made?

 
Old 09-04-2003, 02:27 PM   #2
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MarkCE,

I just had my impressions made about two weeks ago....it was not a pleasant experience for me because I have a limited opening of about 2 fingers width. The dentist needed a new cast of teeth made and the impressions for the splint. I thought at first I wouldn't have too much of a problem because I had these done years ago without any problem....but when I arrived at the dental office, I noticed the assistant had two huge metal plates lying on the table next to me( use for the impression material). I was concerned because of my limited opening.....and the impressions I had done years ago, I don't remember having those metal plates in before. Anyway, I spoke up to the assistant and told her I don't think she will able to fit those in my mouth....so she tried before hand to put one of the plates in....she kept asking me to open up more....I told her that's the most I can open....So, my dentist came in and I told him this thing can't get in and asked him if he had any other way to get the impression material in. He had a smaller plastic plate or tray and tried that....it went in my mouth without too much trouble. So, we were in business.....so I thought. The assistant had no trouble using the plastic trays when putting it in my mouth....it was getting it out...that was abit toublesome. She had finally gotten it out right.....on the second attempt. Phew....I was so relieved it was over, because I thought she will never get a good impression of my bite/teeth. Now, if you are just getting a splint made only and don't need the full cast of your teeth...they can just get the material in your mouth manually with no trouble at all. I am just telling you from my own experience....maybe some other people had it done differently....So, prepare yourself and ask any questions regarding your impressions when you get there.....you will come out just fine.....I felt so relieved that the impressions came out good....that I went out of the office and rewarded myself a ice-cream cone....a pat on my back....good girl!


Sandi
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Old 09-05-2003, 05:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply Sandi.

A couple of days ago my TMJ dentist pretty much said if I don't get my wisdom teeth removed he won't treat me. He said while I'm getting my wisdom teeth they can get impressions of my teeth. I expressed my concern and said I thought it would be better to get my TMJ more under control before getting the 3 wisdom teeth extracted.

I mean I can barely open my mouth here and I've got jaw soreness around the ear and severe ear symptoms, the last thing I want is to go through a surgery where they're going to pry my mouth open. My dentist is convinced though that the wisdom teeth are the problem, this after only a panorex xray, which showed 3 impacted teeth, I don't have a 4th. I've had these impacted wisdom teeth since early highschool, going on 5-6 years now, and they'd never caused any problems before. I'd decided to go through with a tomography but I don't think it would sway his opinion at all.

I don't think he's in it for the money at all, because he wouldn't even be doing the surgery, I just think he's wrong.

Should I search for a new doctor? Or is the only way I'll be able to get impressions made of my teeth is to get anesthesia and have my mouth pryed open? I'd always thought that wisdom teeth don't generally cause TMJ, but having them extracted could, why is his mindset so different? He's usually very open and candid with me but it seems he won't budge on this, like an ultimatum.

Surely there must be some way I can get impressions made. Anyways thanks for letting me vent, and thanks for any suggestions or feedback. Hope everyone is doing as well as can be expected.

Mark

 
Old 09-05-2003, 06:53 AM   #4
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you know.. if i was you, i'd look for another doctor.. at least go and get a couple more opinions because it sounds kind of fishy that your dentist is gung-ho on removing your wisdom teeth when he knows about your TMJD situation.

good luck..

- saaraah.

 
Old 09-05-2003, 12:55 PM   #5
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Hi there. I'm new and found this site searching for info on TMJ.


I also have limited opening-about 1 finger width-and was fitted with a splint about 15 years ago. They had a hard time removing the tray from my mouth as well. As they were 'attempting' to remove the tray, the two dental assistants excused themselves 'for a minute' and left the room. When they returned, they finally were successful in removing the tray.

I ran into one of the assistants a few weeks later and she said "remember when you were there and we had to leave the room? Well the reason we left was we were about to start laughing and couldn't help ourselves!" Good thing I have a sense of humour!!

Also-

I went to see a 'specialist' about a month ago, and he too, suggested I get my wisdom teeth removed before he did any work for my TMJ. I'm 47 years old and have never had any trouble with them. The top two are exposed, the bottom two, not..

I decided I am going to another specialist for a second opinion on this...

 
Old 09-05-2003, 03:31 PM   #6
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Mark,

I am really sorry you are having a tough time dealing with this issue....it's not easy for anybody in pain with tmjd.

I have to agree with Sarah on this....you should get a scond opinion about your situation if you are really uncomforable with your dentist's decision. If it were me in your shoes, I would do that....a second opinion may be well worth your time....

You said that you have 3 impacted wisdom teeth....what happened to the last wisdom teeth?

Have a good night...

Sandi

[This message has been edited by sandra1 (edited 09-05-2003).]
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Old 09-05-2003, 03:39 PM   #7
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My2:30,

I laughed at your story.....it must of been really hard for the 2 assisants to calm themselves down in the other room....you must of looked pretty funny with that tray in your mouth while they were wrestling with you.....funny!!!

I am glad you are going for a second opinion regarding your situation....it won't hurt.

Sandi
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Old 09-05-2003, 03:52 PM   #8
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Hi Sandra,

The 4th wisdom tooth never materialized, so I guess I'm just an oddball with 3

 
Old 09-06-2003, 12:51 AM   #9
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Hi Mark,

I've had impressions made many times with much less than a 20 mm opening. Sometimes the Assistants can't do it. An experienced Dentist usally can do this without a lot of discomfort. They can use plastic trays and have sometimes when it was really bad used plates made for chldren.

Most Dentist do want to take care of impacted wisdom teeth prior to starting treatment. If they have to come out, my opinion is it's better before. If you're going to have a splint made, they don't want the wisdom teeth or where they are impacted included in the impressions. The impressions will not be exactly right for the appropriate splint to be made.

Being sedated for this procedure will relax your jaw and your opening should be a little more. This could be his thinking in doing them along with the procedure. An Os who is experienced with TMJD problems, should not force your mouth open more than you can tolerate.

Impacted wisdom teeth normally are causing some of the pain and problems. Mine were impacted for about 12 years and they were causing some of the pain. I didn't know beforehand that they were. After they were out, I realized they had been causing discomfort.
Many times, according to the position they're in, they are pushing to some degree on your molars. They can sometimes actually cause other teeth to move or get loose.

(My husband who does not have TMJD, put it off about 10 years after he was told they were causing problems and it would get worse. They were putting pressure on his molars and he began to have problems with other teeth. He has great teeth otherwise, but his molars started to hurt, they were actually shifting a little due to the wisdom teeth. He did have them out and said he should have done it when he was first told they were causing problems.)

Having this kind of procedure after starting your therapy for TMJD can be traumatic and cause a setback.

This was the first thing I had done (26 years ago) before any treatment for TMJD was started.

I'm sure some of our members have had problems after this procedure, but I believe it would have been done by someone who did not know how to work with someone with TMJD problems.(Even if they say they did)

It's not the most pleasant of experiences, but it's by far not the worst. After I started treatment, which was splint therapy, I would have not wanted to have it done.

At different times during my many years of treatment, I've had to have 2 molars extracted ( due to bone loss from surgical infection ) and several root canals, not for bad teeth but from unbearable phantom pain. The OS and Endo did not cause any additional problems. They both knew how to work with TMJD patients.

If you're completely against this, a second opinion might help you decide what to do.

(I do know of many Dentist and Ortho's who treat TMJD and they follow this same line of thinking regarding wisdom teeth or any other obvious Dental problems that might require future intervention. After you start therapy for TMJD, they do not want you to have any additional trauma that would interfere with your treatment. In many cases, at some point the impacted wisdom teeth will have to come out.)

I'm not an advocate for anything being done that is not absolutely necessary. Many times, this is.

Good luck with your decision,
Cymy Sue


[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 09-06-2003).]

 
Old 09-06-2003, 05:40 AM   #10
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Thanks for your reply Cymy Sue

Maybe it would be better to get them out before I commit myself to treatment. I'm just so scared it will leave me in a worse position than before I got them out.

I've had injections into my jaw and mouth to try and relax the muscles I assume but it didn't help my opening much. I wonder if sedation would have the same effect?

I guess I understand that proper treatment is based on stabilizing your bite and jaw, and I see how wisdom teeth can upset that apparatus. It's a hard decision, but I'll see the 2nd opinion doc and get his thoughts, I think that's probably the best thing to do at the moment.

Thank all of you so much

 
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