I'm new to the discussion group, but not new to TMJ, unfortunately. Have suffered with it for 25 years. Have had nearly continous splint therapy during that time, sometimes helpful, sometimes not, and had orthodontic work 6 yrs ago which made my bite worse, not better as I was promised. I'm now in a situation where 2 different orthodontists have recommended orthognastic surgery. My upper jaw needs to be wedged upward to make it parallel with the lower to have my teeth fit together. Has anyone had this procedure? Did you find it helped?
Then they are recommending FULL braces again following the surgery - I am not thrilled at all about considering surgery, in fact it totally scares me. Would welcome any feedback from those who might have been through this procedure or have any other insights.
Hi and Welcome to the board. I bumped up an older post for you entitled: Orthognathic Means....Straight Jaws, by Cymy Sue. Hope this helps. I can't help you concerning surgery but I'm sure the other members that have had it can.
I, like you, have been told I need this surgery. However, and I don't know if this changes anything, but I was told this a few years ago, before I every had any tmj symptoms. Before I had my wisdom teeth out, it was explained that my lower jaw grew a bit too much, causing my open bite. They said that after the wisdom teeth were out, I'd eventually need braces for a year, then the surgery to align my upper and lower jaw, then keep the braces for another 6 months while I heal. I tell you what, at that time I had never, ever had surgery, so I was about in tears.
It wasn't till more than a year after I got my wisdom teeth out that I started having jaw issues. I was warned that if I didn't get the surgery, I'd eventually break my back teeth, since they're working so hard. But tmj wasn't mentioned.
Anyway, I just went to the oral surgeon today to see if I even HAVE tmj (turns out I have something related, but not the full-on joint issues), and he, too, said the braces and surgery will help, as it's my bite that's causing the problem.
Anyway, as stated earlier, I think it depends on what's causing your tmj as to whether or not this type of surgery will help you.
My 2 cents.
If the stars are aligned against you, realign the stars.
Hi, and thanks to those who responded. I feel so alone in this sometimes and wandering as I try to figure out where to go next for help. My TMJ issues are totally centered around bite. At one point early on I had one remaining wisdom tooth which had not been extracted and that orthodontist felt it was contributing to problems, so out it came, it didn't improve things. My bite has always been "off" - only made worse by orthodontics, which was supposed to help and didn't. The thing the ortho docs don't tell us is that all can be fine while the braces are on - the hard part is maintaining the bite they created after the braces are off, which was my problem. I was pretty comfortable toward the end of my braces, but as soon as braces were off, nothing fit together right. I had some teeth ground down, which helped a little, then had a crown, which totally threw things off again. Now have a bit of an open bite and various other bite problems. I've been sick tonight thinking about all of this and trying to figure out what to do. My sister says it would benefit me to stop reading the posts on the TMJ site as it's all too negative, that there have to be positive stories out there. Are there? Does anyone know of any? I come to the site for information about what did and didn't work for people so I don't make a mistake that someone else made and regretted - that seems logical to me. I'd like to be positive and hopeful, but after 25 years of dealing with this, I'm about out of hopefuls. Do you guys understand that? Judy
prevail51 - i disagree with your sister. being informed about your health is extremely important especially when it comes to surgery.
there are sucess stories, but since this is a support forum, most of those who are better dont have a need to stick around. mind you, there are a few people here who have gotten better and are getting better. mainly, those who are getting better are wearing neuromuscular splints..
anyway, i, too, was told i need this type of surgery. thank god i didnt go thru with it, since i know it wouldn't have helped me. i have mainly muscular problems with the beginnings of TMJ articular changes.
overall, i think it's great that you're not completely relying on doctors; you're taking your health into your own hands, so to speak, and getting informed.
before getting this surgery, i'd recommend visiting a *good* neuromuscular dentist. they try to get the best occlusion for your TMJs without resorting to surgery.
good luck.. i know things will turn out well for you no matter what the decision.
[This message has been edited by saaraah (edited 09-18-2003).]
How does one find a "neuromuscular" dentist.? My current orthodontist who made the splint may be using this technique to reposition my bite but I've never heard that term used before. Her splint is supposed to align my bite into it's normal position. Is that the same thing? There's also another craniofacial TMJ specialist here who uses a different type of repositioning splint - he's a dentist, but focusing only on TMJ issues now. I don't know though how the two differ in their techniques.