tmj treatment options

The Guide to TMJ Treatment Options

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction – commonly called TMJ – is a problem with the chewing muscles and joints in the jaw. People who experience jaw pain or frequently grind their teeth may suffer from this condition. Any time pain is a factor, it is important to see a doctor or dentist. He or she can determine whether TMJ might be a concern and work on a treatment plan. For those who have been diagnosed with TMJ, a good understanding of the condition can put you at ease and help you understand what to expect.

Overview of TMJ

It is not fully known what causes TMJ. The condition is more common in women and other dental concerns, such as clicking or a bad bite, have not been found to be connected. The condition sometimes involves inflammation, which may link it to arthritis and similar health conditions. Some individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, and tension are susceptible.

Symptoms of TMJ include the following:

  • Pain in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Clicking or grating when the jaw opens and closes

Home Care for TMJ

For many people TMJ goes away on its own over time. Symptoms may be eased by the application of hot or cold packs. It may be helpful to eat softer foods and avoid anything exceptionally sticky or hard that requires more aggressive chewing. Because TMJ is commonly associated with anxiety, relaxation techniques and stretching exercise can also be helpful.

If TMJ lasts for a long period of time, it is important to see a dentist or doctor for evaluation. He or she can rule out other health condition and help create a treatment plan that is more effective.

Treatment for TMJ

Diagnosing TMJ will include a combination of observation from a dentist and tests. This may be an x-ray to detect dental problems, a CT scan to observe the bone structure, or an MRI to get a closer look at the joint disk.

Treatments for TMJ start with pain relievers, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants. Often medication is enough to ease the tension and resolve the problem. If it persists, bite guards and physical therapy may be beneficial.

Surgical Procedures for TMJ

Some patients may need surgery to treat TMJ. Less-invasive methods can be appropriate for certain conditions, but TMJ surgery is an option as a last resort. It is used when the joint is damaged or has structural problems. Other procedures include the following:

  • Arthrocentesis involves irrigating the joint to remove debris and reduce inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid injections can encourage healing and help muscles relax.
  • Botox and similar injections may be used to relieve pain.

Choosing a TMJ Specialist in NJ

Residents of New Jersey can contact Thomas F. Friscia, DDS for an evaluation. Find out more about TMJ and treatment options that work for your lifestyle. If other dental work is needed, sedation dentistry is an option that reduces the anxiety that many adults face during dental procedures.

Invisalign Reviews: What You Can Expect

Invisalign has become a popular alternative to traditional metal braces for those considering teeth straightening. It is often chosen by adults who are in need of an option that is not so noticeable. Before beginning a procedure that will take a good bit of time and come with a hefty price tag, it is important to read many Invisalign reviews to determine whether this is the right procedure.

What to Expect: Cost

The overall cost of Invisalign is similar to traditional braces. This means that the price can vary greatly, however. The office location, condition of the teeth, and the number of appointments will factor into the total. This can range from $3,000 to $10,000 and the average in the United States is around $5,000.

Insurance may cover a portion of the cost for minors, but usually does not apply to adults. Flexible spending accounts may also be used toward Invisalign treatments.

What to Expect: Comfort

The procedure begins with creating a mold of the patient’s teeth. A pair of aligners is custom made to fit over the teeth and gradually move them into place. Invisalign is made from BPA-free plastic. It is intended to be much more comfortable than traditional metal braces because it does not scratch and irritate the inside of the mouth.

The aligners are removed to eat, drink, and clean the teeth daily. It is important to maintain good hygiene, but there is no limitation on what a person can eat. Because the aligners are removed for brushing and flossing, there is no need to clean around metal attachments as with traditional braces.

What to Expect: Time

The patient will see the dentist every two weeks to receive a new set of aligners. With each new aligner set, the teeth move closer to their desired position. The full amount of time will depend on how crooked the teeth were initially, but most patients find that the process takes about 12 months.

What to Expect: Side Effects

Invisalign is not right for everyone. For some people, traditional metal braces are more appropriate. If teeth are only slightly crooked and a quick fix is preferred, veneers may be preferred.

Side effects of Invisalign are mild and usually just take some time to adjust to how the aligners feel. Common complaints include:

  • Dry mouth
  • A slight, temporary lisp
  • Sensitive teeth as they start moving
  • Sore teeth with new aligners

A very small number of patients have had an allergic reaction to Invisalign aligners. People who grind their teeth may damage the aligners or experience headaches associated with grinding.

Choosing an Invisalign NJ Expert

Patients in the New Jersey area can contact Thomas F. Friscia, DDS to talk about options for teeth straightening and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. Schedule an appointment to find out if Invisalign is right for you or another teeth straightening procedure might be more appropriate.

If finances are a concern, ask about payment plan options for your procedure. There is no reason that you cannot have a great smile.

The Cost for Different Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

For many people, it is the cost of cosmetic dentistry that keeps them from calling a dentist. While money is always a factor in health procedures, it should not keep a person from receiving the care they need or want. The cost for any procedure varies by patient. Many factors go into a procedure’s costs, including the following:

  • The specific procedure being done
  • The severity of damage to teeth
  • The number of teeth being treated
  • How many appointments are necessary
  • The location of the dentist’s office

Here are a few estimates on the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.

  1. Porcelain Dental Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a thin material that covers the teeth. They are applied through a non-invasive procedure and leave the teeth looking straight and white. Veneers are often applied to the front teeth when the condition does not warrant braces. The procedure ranges from $500 to $1,300 per tooth.

  1. Dental Implants

Dental implants are synthetic teeth that can be put in place of a missing tooth or teeth. The procedure involves putting metal anchors into the jaw bone and connecting a crown, or replacement tooth. Implants may cost as much as $1,500 to $7,500 per tooth.

  1. Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a procedure that uses chemicals to remove stains and give teeth a clean, white appearance. It can be done in a dentist’s office or as a take-home procedure. The average cost is $650 when done in an office or $400 if done at home with a dentist’s supervision.

  1. Dental Bonding

Dental boding corrects a chipped tooth or a gap between teeth. This procedure is quick and involves applying a thin layer of material over the area of concern. The bonding looks just like a tooth and can be used to replace metal fillings as well. Bonding costs range from $100 to $400 per tooth.

  1. Teeth Straightening

Gone are the days when metal braces were the only option for crooked teeth. Non-invasive methods like Invisalign are almost invisible and much more comfortable. Prices can vary widely depending on the type of straightening procedure and the number of teeth involved. It can be as low as $1,500 or as much as $10,000.

Insurance and Cosmetic Dentistry

Most dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic procedures. If a procedure has been deemed beneficial for oral hygiene, a portion may be included. Braces and other tooth straightening are often partially-covered for minors, but not adults. Always talk to your insurance provider to determine the precise costs associated with a procedure that you are considering.

Cosmetic Dentistry NJ

There are many choices for cosmetic dentistry in New Jersey. Thomas F. Friscia, DDS serves patients with dental implants and sedation dentistry. If you have been dreaming of a bright, new smile but worry about the procedure, this office can provide methods for helping you relax.

When costs are a factor, talk with a representative who can help you understand payment options. Call to schedule an appointment for a free evaluation.