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Old 10-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Hi everyone! I used to post on here fairly regularly 4 years ago and then experienced 3 wonderful symptom-free years after an open joint procedure with mitek anchor implant in 2006. Sadly, though, I am back

I began experiencing pain/inability to chew/open again several months ago and am now seeing a new specialist. One of the first things he noticed is that my face is assymetric (my chin is way off to the right side). He took a CT scan that revealed my bone has grown over the mitek anchor, rendering it useless, and the bone is essentially "melting" away on the opposite side, more than likely causing my chin to be off centered. And I have severe degeneration on the top of the condyle. I had another arthroscopy (mainly for diagnostic purposes) and the surgeon could barely even get into my joint space.

Due to all these problems, my dr said it looks like a total joint replacement is our only option due to the condition of the bone. However, my dr would like me to get braces to fix my now misaligned bite before the surgery. My question is if any of you have had braces to help with TMJ before and why would this be useful BEFORE the joint replacement?

Thanks!!

 
Old 10-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

I had braces as supposed to be the solution to my joint issues. Supposed to put the bite in the correct spot and take off the pressure off your joints.

As far as joint replacement i don't know. Maybe to train your muscles to put your bite in the correct position for after the joint replacement. If you wore braces and did all the moving after the joint replacement seems like it would be putting too much strain on the new joints.

 
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:14 AM   #3
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

I currently have braces to help my TMJ, but am not having TMJ surgery.

MM1873, did you find that your braces helped with your TMJ? And did they get the bite in the correct place? I am wearing a lower splint 24/7 at the same time as the orthodontics, did you have a splint also?

 
Old 10-24-2010, 07:23 AM   #4
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

thank you both for the replies. did the braces work in correcting your bite? my only fear is that my joints hurt so much right now I'm not sure how they are going to be able to put braces on! i would like to know if they corrected your bite though...

 
Old 10-24-2010, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Biggest thing I noticed while having braces is that I had no headaches but I don't remember if my ears popped. My jaws were not hurting during braces.
The braces and the surgery supposedly corrected my bite but I placed directly into a splint after the braces came off. Incorrectly. I believe I should've stayed in a typical full orthodontic retainers after braces. My ortho had made me some that held my bite into the correct place. However, I was told (since the beginning of the process) that I would go directly into a night guard (referred to as an e-appliance) after braces and the surgery. My dentist told me I should wear it as much as possible to keep pressure off my joints. Anyway, I discovered about a month ago that the e-appliance/night guard thing caused my bite to change into a open bite (possible anterior open bite). And my joints are in horrible condition, which has developed since I got my braces off.

The way I understand the process is once you correct the bite, most of your symptoms should be relieved.

If you have done splint therapy and it isn't working, than bite correction is the next step (at least in my case, again).

Just becareful what appliance you use. The one I used supposedly would put your bite into its most natural position (natural isn't necessarily correct I believe). But it put to much pressure on my top teeth causing the bad bite (again, ugh). And shoved my jaw into my joints, thus the damage.

Hope that helps some. Braces were the permanent solution but I undid that with the appliance.

 
Old 10-27-2010, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

so found out today that the braces are supposed to correct the bite as to not put stress on the new joint when it is replaced. the braces should be the bite in the right spot so when the joint gets replaced, everything will already be lined up. makes sense i guess!
i see the orthodontist tomorrow so we'll see how long i will have to have them for. how long did you have braces for?

 
Old 10-27-2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

The last time I had braces it was for about 18 -24 months. That includes the six months of keeping them on after surgery.

 
Old 10-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Hello-
I am in braces for the 2nd time--1st as a teen, now as a 41 year old. The braces are a part of my Joint Replacement coming in Feb. 2011 I had braces put on Feb-2010- The braces are to re-straighten my teeth and align my teeth to correct the bite. I have a open, over bite...my bottom teeth were a mess, only 2 teeth would touch when I bite down. The braces will be wired for the surgery and then I will be banded after. I will have the braces on for a couple of months after the surgery to tweak areas that need it. I also have the Clear brackets on the front teeth, top and bottom. When the joints are replaced the Dr will be able to move my jaw forward- I am having Concepts-
I have a complete degenerated joint on my left side-Just a nub of a joint --no disc. Necrosis, Bone Loss on both sides-Osteo arthritis--MRI Report was very long. I was hit by a car at age 5, assuming this is what started the problems...I have hearing loss in my left ear, this was discovered when I was 9-
I will not lie, the braces have not been fun:[They are short -term. But, I am hoping with fixing teeth, bite and joints this whole nightmare will end. I have had a Open Joint Arthroplasty on my left side, it helped for a few months....with bone on bone both sides the function and pain stink!

Best of Luck-
:]

 
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

mm1873 and TMJC,

thanks for the post! I also have an open bite and had braces when I was in middle school! the orthodontist stated that I should only need the braces for 4-6 months since my teeth are still in good shape, just the bite. My left side joint sounds exactly like yours! I had a successful open joint arthroplasty as well for a couple years until my bone grew over top the mitek anchor

So your surgeon is going to do some orthognathic surgery as well during the joint replacement? That is what my surgeon is hoping to do as well. How were you able to get braces on your teeth with your jaw the way it is? My current opening is 17mm and it seems almost impossible to get braces like that! I just cant imagine having to have braces for that long while you are in pain from the joint!

 
Old 11-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #10
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

It is so nice not to feel alone.....
My opening is about 23mm, when the braces were put on my orthodontist did everything she could to keep me from having to hold my mouth open. When the brackets were glued there was this plastic thing that was put around my lips to keep them away from my teeth. I really did not have to open. The only part that was tough was when a band was put on my crowns, I had to open for that:[
I always take a muscle relaxant before a Ortho appt. as well as Advil.
It makes complete since...why fix the joint if the bite is not right? If I have to go thru a TJR I want to make sure I have done everything possible to make this surgery work, I want to benefit from it:]
Am I counting down the days until these puppies come off? Heck Yea!
Keep me posted.....

 
Old 11-05-2010, 05:19 AM   #11
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Thats good to know you did not have to open much for the braces. What a relief! It looks like I may be getting mine on in 3 weeks or so Not looking forward to it! I totally agree that I want everything to be right before getting the replacements. I want to put all the odds towards it working!
Thanks for the post!

 
Old 11-06-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Good Luck with the braces....keep me posted:]

 
Old 11-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #13
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

TMJC,

New update today. I will only have to have the braces for 2-3 months before the surgery to get the teeth in the right spot for surgery. They are going to do an upper jaw surgery where they cut the upper jaw in 3 pieces to move it to the right spot, and they will do this at the same time as the joint replacement. The dr said I will have to have the braces for several months after the surgery as well, but that shouldn't be too bad. Just looking forward to getting all this over.
You must be getting exciting- only 3 more months for you!!

 
Old 11-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #14
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Navymid-
I am so ready!!
Wow...that is alot of surgery. Did your doc tell you how long they thought it would take? The TJR can be anywhere from 5 to 8 hrs.
I am worried that I am not going to get enough forward movement with the joints. They can only move the lower jaw forward with the joint replacement not the top. That explains why they are doing 2 surgeries in one for you. The main thing is to stay focused on the end result. If you are going to fix it, get it all done and then return to your life. When do the braces go on?
Best wishes to you~

 
Old 12-05-2010, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: I'm back :( joint replacement/braces in my near future!!

Looks like I will be getting the braces on this week or the beginning of next. So ready! I went and got a second opinion before I agreed on this treatment. After weighing all the options, this definitely looks like the best way to go. I know it will be rough though! My dr said the surgery will take at least 8 hours. I would love to talk to someone who has had the TJR and orthognathic surgery at the same time to see what it is like to recover from both.

 
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