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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

  • Been through it all. Splint, braces, orthognathic surgery, seeking advice

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    Old 12-07-2016, 10:36 AM   #1
    spookygee's Avatar
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    spookygee HB User
    Been through it all. Splint, braces, orthognathic surgery, seeking advice

    Hey everyone. I'm extremely worried. My treatment started 6 years ago when dealing with TMJ issues and I have fears of being misled, or misdiagnosed, or if there was any mal-practice here.

    6 years ago I visited to a dentist who had some knowledge of tmj. I complained of the jaw clicking/popping loud on opening/chewing, locking up, tinnitus, constant ear fullness/crackling, ear infections, intermittent ear pain, pretty much everything tmj has to offer aside from actual joint pain. He made an appliance to wear 24/7 which gradually moved my lower jaw forward. I saw nothing wrong here at the time, as it helped my symptoms and I remember my right jaw joint sitting high up that i could feel it half way in my ear canal which was resolved shortly after so I thought that was the correct first step. That was fixed from using the splint for a few weeks. This splint actually helped my symptoms, however at a point the splint couldn't fit in my mouth because of how my bite was - too much contact of the back teeth where the splint was very thin. It broke, he made a new one, it broke, and I was left with a partial coverage splint that only covered the anterior that I wore intermittently for a few months until having braces put on. This is where I am worried. After visiting a new tmj dentist the other day looking for answers, he mentioned that those kind of splints should never be used as they can cause the teeth not covered to erupt. I had an open bite I think all of my life to an extent, and am unsure if the partial splint accentuated the issue enough to where I was recommended surgery for it. Doing some more research confirmed that those kind of splints can cause the non-covered teeth to erupt as well. I must have worn that for a few months. I now have a fear of the splint being the reason why I had the surgery.

    Throughout having braces, my tmj issues were still present for about 2 years. I had corrective jaw surgery on the upper jaw four years ago to correct my open bite, and it seems that i have been mostly symptom free ever since. My lower jaw was able to swing forward and up to close. No more clicking/popping, ear infections, tinnitus is at a very low and tolerable level, the constant ear fullness has gone away also. It's hard for me to be happy though, because I am constantly wondering if I needed the surgery, if it was the correct thing to do as there are new advancements in orthodontics that can correct open bites non-surgically, if the splint was a factor in why my bite was worse, or if this was what was best regardless.

    Although my surgeon specialized in tmjd, I learned that orthognathic surgery shouldn't be performed as a treatment for tmjd. Though every case is different I suppose. The new dentist I visited the other day said I am 'extremely' lucky - though I don't feel very lucky at the moment. Sometimes I feel like my life was ruined if I went through this when it wasn't necessary, or if there were other factors contributing to my bite like the splint that weren't considered before the surgery. Or if I should be happy?

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-07-2016 at 10:40 AM.

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