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Prosthodontic Management of Temporomandibular Disorders

Posted on 2/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Woman in dental office holding her chin due to TMJ at Dallas Prosthodontics in Dallas, TXThe temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and associated muscles enable the opening, closing, and sliding motions of the jaw. Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) refer to conditions causing pain and dysfunction of these critical components. As experts in comprehensive oral rehabilitation, prosthodontists play a key role in resolving many TMD issues with customized therapies.

Splint Therapy

The prosthodontist may prescribe an occlusal splint as an initial TMD treatment. This removable plastic or acrylic appliance covers the chewing surface of either the upper or lower teeth. Splint therapy reduces strain, stabilizes movement, and prevents the jaws from adopting damaging closure positions. Adjusting or changing the splint may alleviate joint and muscular pain.

TMJ Repositioning Appliances

For TMDs involving moderate-to-severe TMJ imbalance, repositioning splints effectively improves function. Prosthodontists fabricate these appliances to relax overstretched joint components and precisely guide or condylar repositioning into more optimal relationships as muscle tension resolves. With discs recaptured and condyle positions normalized, symptoms dramatically improve.

Full-Mouth Rehabilitation

Sometimes, long-term compensations for joint discomfort lead to serious occlusal instability, muscle tenderness, and bite collapse. This demands full-mouth rehabilitation to recreate balanced articulation. Following a thorough analysis, prosthodontists restore collapsed bites using techniques like full-arch bridges and crowns, overlay dentures, or dental implants. The new smile simultaneously corrects worn, broken, or missing teeth while harmonizing bites.

TMJ Surgery Assistance

Rarely when prosthetic treatments fail to relieve advanced displacement within TMJs, specialists may perform surgery. Here, prosthodontists play a supportive role by creating surgical stents indicating optimal condyle positioning for the operating surgeon. They may also fabricate transitional splints protecting surgical results until tissues fully heal.

A Lasting Solution

Through comprehensive prosthetic management, TMD disorders are effectively resolved, permitting renewed comfort and function. The multifaceted prosthodontist offers exceptional solutions ranging from reversible therapies to permanent prosthetic reconstructions coordinated with surgery when essential for lasting symptom relief. Contact us today to begin your TMD recovery journey.

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