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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
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dizzynotblonde HB User
New to all this - Questions!

I have a geat deal of pain in my upper jaw area (5 years now), have had 2 teeth pulled w/o any relief. Dentists say they see nothing wrong so it must be sinus - ENTs say they see nothing wrong so it must be dental. FINALLY I was referred to a maxillofacial surgeon who says it's TMJ. I've always heard this is a rip-off, but he gave me a shot of novocaine in the joint and w/in 5 minutes the pain was markedly better. He says I need arthroscopic surgery, with a bite splint and PT afterwards. This will run me at LEAST $3500 and he doesn't take my insurance!

He says it's "referred pain" from the joint. I've also suffered from an undiagnosed dizziness for the past 6 years, and my ears ring like crazy. He says these symptoms MAY be alleviated by the surgery as well. So far he hasn't quoted me any particular chances of success, tho he does say it's not a cure-all.

I find this whole idea quite frightening. He says the cartilage is completely out of the joint, and something about a 'sac' that may have already burst. I'm looking for info. Has anyone here been in a similar situation, had this surgery, or suffered from these symptoms? This is the first time I've been offered ANY possibly "solution" to my pain and I'd love to feel better - but that's a LOT of money! If it works it'd be well worth it. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks!

 
Old 08-31-2009, 06:06 AM   #2
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Thelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB User
Re: New to all this - Questions!

Although the dentist may not accept your medical insurance it doesn't necessarily mean your insurance (either medical or dental) won't cover part of this at a reduced out-of-network rate - you should be able to submit the claims to them yourself. Many medical health plans will cover the testing (MRIs, Ct scans, etc), surgery, splints (orthotics) and therapy (chiro, PT, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, etc) if not under a tmj diagnosis under myofacial pain syndrome, cranio-facial pain or orofacial pain disorder, etc. At least look into it as any reimbursement to offset costs would help.

Also I would go seek a 2nd and possibly 3rd opinion preferrably from a non-surgical tmj specialist first to make sure that there is a consensus on what is wrong and causing the pain and secondly to see if there are other conservative treatments that should be tried before surgery.

 
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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hwoods86 HB User
Re: New to all this - Questions!

I was just recently diagnosed, they offered me the mouth guard for while i sleep (i grind my teeth like crazy) or surgery. my medical insurance does not cover any of my treatments or surgery, so i went with the cheaper option. I have been wearing my mouth guard for probably about 6 months now, my symptoms have greatly improved, I don't remember the last time I had a dizzy spell, my jaw only hurts on occasion and its more stiff than pain. My ears still ring on occasion, but hey you can't win them all. So far I'm happy with my decision to go with the mouth guard, its been cheaper and everyone of my checkups have been going well. hopefully that helps.

 
Old 09-01-2009, 08:51 AM   #4
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velvetrance HB User
Re: New to all this - Questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzynotblonde View Post
I have a geat deal of pain in my upper jaw area (5 years now), have had 2 teeth pulled w/o any relief. Dentists say they see nothing wrong so it must be sinus - ENTs say they see nothing wrong so it must be dental. FINALLY I was referred to a maxillofacial surgeon who says it's TMJ. I've always heard this is a rip-off, but he gave me a shot of novocaine in the joint and w/in 5 minutes the pain was markedly better. He says I need arthroscopic surgery, with a bite splint and PT afterwards. This will run me at LEAST $3500 and he doesn't take my insurance!

He says it's "referred pain" from the joint. I've also suffered from an undiagnosed dizziness for the past 6 years, and my ears ring like crazy. He says these symptoms MAY be alleviated by the surgery as well. So far he hasn't quoted me any particular chances of success, tho he does say it's not a cure-all.

I find this whole idea quite frightening. He says the cartilage is completely out of the joint, and something about a 'sac' that may have already burst. I'm looking for info. Has anyone here been in a similar situation, had this surgery, or suffered from these symptoms? This is the first time I've been offered ANY possibly "solution" to my pain and I'd love to feel better - but that's a LOT of money! If it works it'd be well worth it. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks!
My theory: Dentists and ENT's like to play "hot potato". They don't want to be responsible if they drop it but they don't want to find out how it can be "cooled down" so to speak.

I think most, if not all, TMJ therapy is unnecessary and you should see a non-surgical TMJ specialist. The "vets" on here will all tell you that. Only specialists understand the complexity of this problem.

The "cartilage" they are speaking of is simply a cushion between two bones: the maxilla and mandible. whatever doctor said sac, do me a favor and NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. That's a disc and it's not going to pop, it may slide out of place cause the joint and the two joints to touch becoming very painful but that's pretty much what it is. You have one in your knee also called the meniscus that can slide out of out place with people who suffer knee problems.

The ear problem is because when the disc does slip the bone (mandible) it presses on the ear canal causes pain, dizziness, disorientation, and vestibular symptoms. That is my main condition. Pain does not compare to the disorientation whatsoever. Because your jaw is acting up and probably out of alignment which is why the bones are shifting therefore the muscles shifts, you will have spasms as well which are painful.

SEE A TMJ DOCTOR. Dentist, Orthodontists, ENT's, Neurologists are, for the most part, clueless because this was not in their field of study when they treated TMJ. Now that medicine has progressed a lot more information has been figured out and new technologies are able to be out of pain.

If you need any information, feel free to messages me on here. I'd be willing to even speak on the phone if you like and help you find a doctor. I've had a lot of help from my new family who has stood by me and given me a stress free environment to heal.

Last edited by velvetrance; 09-01-2009 at 08:53 AM.

 
Old 09-02-2009, 09:22 PM   #5
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dizzynotblonde HB User
Re: New to all this - Questions!

How long did it take for the splint to start working? Is that all the TMJ specialist can do? I know it's hard to describe, but how bad was your pain and dizziness? Mine is extremely bad - it's so tempting to do the surgery to get quick results, but, as they say, slow and steady wins the race. And lastly, how do I find a "TMJ Specialist" - are they listed that way in the phone book or would the ins co be able to tell me? Thanks!

 
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