What are the Signs and Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder?
Early signs can be popping and clicking in the joints, sore muscles, and tension headaches. As the breakdown progresses, more acute pain and jaw locking can occur. People that are noticing clenching and grinding are at higher risk for these sorts of problems.
How to Treat TMJ Problems?
The exciting thing is that they have some amazing new technology at the Dental Specialty Center where Dr. Verber works, that has totally changed his approach. The office has a state-of-the-art imaging unit that gives us a CT scan x-ray of the joints with very low radiation. And there are now dental radiologists that can read these images and tell us what is going on internally with a patient’s joints.
We know if the joints are healthy and stable enough to treat the underlying issues and sore muscles. If this is the case, we can often use tooth polishing techniques or Invisalign to address a bite issue. Or we can treat sleep apnea. But if we know the joints are breaking down, we will manage things with special appliances that are custom-made to address the specific type of breakdown in an effort to heal the joints and achieve stability.
Does Medical or Dental Insurance Cover Treatment?
Unfortunately, a lot of this therapy falls between disciplines. That is why not a lot of doctors are treating TMJ problems. And it is also why it is hard to get insurance coverage. This is usually an out-of-pocket expense for most patients in our office. However, we try to keep costs manageable and intervene early to avoid bigger more expensive problems down the road.