Splints, ortho, etc
So I had a consult with the orthodontist that was recommended to me. The specialist I saw in NYC told me I have no joint damage (based on two MRI's taken one year apart) but rather my TMJD is muscular in nature. My bite is WAY off - left side where my jaw hurts is open and I can't make my front teeth meet. It was also recommended that I have the sore tooth, also on left side, extracted. It had a root canal done in it in March 06' and the sides have always remained sore. The RC was due to a hairline crack, well - all the dentists feel it is the crack causing pain.
ANYWAY - before I have the tooth pulled I wanted to see the ortho to get a guage on what his treatment plan would be to straighten my teeth!
Keep in mind I have had THREE splints so far. Wait make that four. First was a soft splint to protect my teeth ($400). Hard Acrylic upper splint to protect my teeth ($600). A repositioning upper splint (looks just like a retainer - $800) and a stabilizing lower splint (hard acrylic - $1200). The 2nd splint permanently shifted my bite - or so we think that is the culprit. The third repositioning splint gave me some relief in pain, then when I switched to the stablizing splint to be worn 24/7 for 6 months and then on to orthodontia - the splint hurt my tooth, so the specialist said have the RC redone. But no one wants to redo it, they believe it is the cracked tooth causing the issue. I have since found out the man treating me with the appliances was WAY off base about my diagnosis. He read my MRI's and disagreed with radiologists and said I had endstage disease and permanent joint damage - not true as per the specialist in NYC who ONLY sees TMJD patients.
So last night I saw an ortho who also sees many TMJD patients. He listened to my joints with ultrasound, something no one else ever did - I could hear the crunch crunch on my right side (my painfree side) and no sound on the left side (the side I have pain). He said the crunch was cartiledge rubbing, but he believed I am compensating when I open and shut for the pain on the left. Either way he said he felt it was muscular - as the other specialist said.
So that was the end of my 'free consult' - he wants me to return for tests. He wants to - GUESS WHAT? Make me a SPLINT! I said I have had four splints, no more splints! He said 'well there are many different kinds of splints. and before i straighten your teeth i like to have you as comfortable as possible with your jaw. either way - i need the tests'.
Monday I return for the following:
3-D tomography scan - digital (never had that done)
panoramic xray - digital (have had them done, most recent was January of 2007)
Cephalometric xray (digital)
Study models (with TMJ position registration)
All materials will be used in a thorough work up to develop an appropriate individualized treatment plan. The fee for this procedure
is $425 and that includes a follow-up consult to discuss treatment plan and options.
If I only did the tomography it would run me $195, that is if I did not need orthodontia. I am wondering if I should just do the tomography
and have him treat me with the splint for now - and then going forward do the other tests.
MAYBE there is a chance that the splint alone will help and I won't need braces and I will just learn to live with my open bite on the one side and in front? You can't tell I have it when I smile!
I am just SO tired of spending all this money! I WISH I had found this man 2 years ago!