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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

MRI...first step towards help

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Old 05-16-2003, 02:39 PM   #1
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TiffanyAnn HB User
Thumbs up MRI...first step towards help

Hi Everyone:
You guys have all been so good to support and encourage me and I wanted to let you all know that I have finally taken a couple of steps towards finding help. My husband finally got the message of how miserable I am and is getting an idea of how much pain I am in. I had lost all hope of finding help and was at a point where I could not stand to have another let down so my husband began making a few calls for me. He didn't know the questions to ask because although I have talked alot about my TMJ he was not listening. But he did make a few calls then I decided to follow up his calls for further information because I knew more of what to ask and I know when I am hearing a line of BS from some dentist who is looking for some fast money. Anyway, I called my neurologist and asked him if he would order an MRI of the TMJ for me and he said yes so they scheduled that for this Sunday May 18 at 4:00PM. He ordered an MRI without contrast. Does that sound right to all of you who have had MRIs? Also can anyone please tell me how long the MRI takes and is the MRI machine one of those where you are closed inside? I made an appointment with a local orthodontist because the consultation is free and I will have the MRI results by that time. The appointment for that is next month. I called another office in town that advertises that they treat TMJ and you will never believe their line. They charge $125.00 to see you and then they send you to a local dentist for splint therapy. I said to can you call that treatment by charging me $125.00 for a referral? They had no answer for me. Of course this office like most office where I live are big on surgery but I told them in no uncertain terms that I have absolutely NO interest in surgery and that I will NOT even consider surgery until all avenues of splint therapy and braces have been exhausted and maybe not even then. I told them about all of you guys that they have screwed up and left to suffer. They tried to defend their profession but I told them to save their breath. Anyway, I thank all of you for all your support and please let me know about what to expect with the MRI.
Thanks everyone,

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Old 05-16-2003, 02:56 PM   #2
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TC543 HB User


I am so glad that you are starting fresh with the MRI and the new doctors. I haven't had an MRI, but I know it IS the machine that many people feel a little claustrophobic inside. I'm sure you will do fine, though. I wish you the best of luck with your tests and the new doctor.

[This message has been edited by totallyconfused (edited 10-29-2003).]

Old 05-16-2003, 02:59 PM   #3
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CherylL24 HB UserCherylL24 HB UserCherylL24 HB User


I'm sooooo happy for you!!!!! Now, you're getting the ball rolling, you should feel so good inside. My son's MRI of the tmj's was also without contrast. He had 3 MRI's in a row, but I believe that the tmj ran around 45 minutes. It was in the closed tube. If you're claustrophobic, call the Neuro. that ordered it, and ask for some valium to take before this test. I don't know if you've ever had an MRI before, but they are sooo noisy, just so you know.(sounds like someone beating on metal garbage cans!)
As for your husband, it sounds like he's begining to understand and want to help you. Good for the both of you!!!! Let me know how it all goes on Sunday.


[This message has been edited by CherylLynn24 (edited 10-30-2003).]

Old 05-16-2003, 03:38 PM   #4
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cathyk HB User

Hi TiffanyAnn - I've had the MRI done. If by contrast you mean they take pictures of the jaw open and then closed, then that's what I had.

IF they're going to force your mouth open I think it would be a good idea to take a valium as well prior to getting it. For no other reason than sometimes when we get stressed (or fear of the unknown) we make our TMJ symptoms worse.

Mine took about an hour, was very noisy, but my husband was sitting in a chair right outside so I didn't freak out from the closed in feeling. Before they rolled me in I asked to have a cloth put over my eyes so I wouldn't open them and feel as closed in.

For part of the procedure they forced my mouth open with about 2" of stacked popsicle sticks to force the mouth open and told me not to swallow for a full 5 minutes. This is not odd from what I've read from others who've had it done. It's uncomfortable though.

I'm only sharing this with you as I had no idea when I went in and looking back I wish I had taken something to calm me down so it wouldn't have been as big a deal.
Maybe you can find out if they'll be doing this and it won't be a problem at all.

It's a great diagnostic tool though to help you make good decisions for your therapy moving forward.

Way to go on sticking to the "no surgery"'s frightening what others have gone through.

Old 05-16-2003, 04:19 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kaysville, Utah USA
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GenDen HB User

MRI without contrast is without a dye injected in your veins. My MRI was in an open machine. It was closed to just about my waist. I have had MRI's in the past that are the closed tube with my entire body in the tube. It just depends on what equipment the imaging facility has, I think. I found that if I kept my eyes closed and did not open them at all, it helped. I imagined myself in a beautiful park. Also, before they started, I asked them to tell me how long each session would take. They take the pictures for a while, then it is quiet for a while. When they are taking the pictures, they tell you not to move or swallow. I found it was much easier to do if I knew exactly how long it was going to be. You will have a piece of plastic in your mouth that you jack up to hold your mouth open. It isn't uncomfortable, just a little awkward. I get through the procedure by thinking over and over to myself how good it will be to get a picture of the trouble area so that I will get the right treatment. Good luck to you. You have taken the right step.

Old 05-16-2003, 04:32 PM   #6
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TiffanyAnn HB User

Hi GenDen:
I figured without contrast meant without dye but I wanted to make sure. Your idea about having them tell me how long each part is going to take is a good one. I find if I know when something is going to end it makes it easier for me to get through. And I will keep my eyes closed too. It sounds like that will help as well. Thanks so much.

Old 05-16-2003, 06:09 PM   #7
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Good luck,

Just make a note to ask if a written report on the mri results will be made by the technician to your doctor. this is important for the proper diagnosis.

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