I have a teeth grinding habit. To fix it, my dentist crowned all my teeth, but somehow they weren’t done quite right. My bite is slanted and I ended up grinding those down as well. My jaw hurt so much that I went to another dentist who called himself a TMJ dentist. I thought he could help because of the pain in my jaw. He put me in an orthotic device for a little over two years but that seems to have had the result of opening up my jaw too much. I am in agony and everyone I see has the tendency to make it worse. What do I do?
You have had a rough go of things. One of the things you are up against is the fact that TMJ is not a recognized specialty. Any general dentist can claim to be a TMJ dentist even if they have not invested the time and money in the additional training necessary. This, however, rarely serves their patients well. Your first dentist tried what is known as a full-mouth reconstruction. This is one of the most advanced procedures in dentistry. It does not sound like your dentist has the training necessary to do this, which is why your bite ended up worse. You should also know that just crowning the teeth won’t keep you from grinding them. The best way to protect your teeth from grinding, once they are repaired is with a nighttime mouthguard.
The second dentist kept you in an orthotic too long, which is what opened up your bite past its natural position. What you have now is a serious case of TMJ disorder. You need a dentist who has the advanced training to give you proper treatment. Three of the best post-doctoral institutions for TMJ Training are:
- The Dawson Academy
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
- The Pankey Institute
Find a dentist who has training at one of these institutions and you will be in good hands and on the road to getting your bite corrected properly.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.