TMJ Treatment Chicago

Treating Jaw Pain with Non-Surgical Solutions

Woman holding the back of her neck in pain before T M J treatment in Chicago

At Smile 312 General Cosmetic Implant Dentistry, we treat patients suffering from chronic jaw pain regularly. When inflammation or injury affects the jaw joints, it can cause increased discomfort that manifests throughout the neck, jaw, and head. Dr. Mahler strives to minimize the pain and alleviate pressure in these areas by recommending TMJ treatment in Chicago. Using custom occlusal splints and equilibration, we can improve a person’s oral mobility, which, in turn, positively affects their total-body health. Let us know how we can help by calling our dental office today.

Why Choose Smile 312 General Cosmetic Implant Dentistry for TMJ Treatment?

  • Custom Occlusal Splints for Optimal Comfort
  • Dentist Who Sees Patients from Around the World
  • Serving Chicago Residents Since 1986

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Wooden letters T M J on desk next to model of skull

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, also referred to as TMD, is a condition that occurs when the joints located on either side of the head, at the base of the skull, become inflamed or injured. Pain is often the most noticeable symptom, but others can form as well, making it difficult to eat, speak, yawn, and perform other oral movements. Without timely treatment, the condition can worsen, hindering your quality of life.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Woman holding the side of her jaw in pain

As previously mentioned, pain is often the first indicator that there is a problem; however, other TMJ symptoms can be easily spotted, such as:

  • Popping and clicking of the jaw when trying to open and close your mouth
  • Tenderness throughout the jaw and face
  • Earaches
  • Frequent headaches and/or migraines
  • Lockjaw
  • Bite misalignment
  • Difficulty eating or chewing

TMJ Treatment Options

Model of the jaws in occlusal adjustment device

When seeking Dr. Mahler’s help for TMJ, his 30+ years of experience affords him the ability to make recommendations based on his training and advanced expertise. After visually examining and using diagnostic imaging to pinpoint the problem, he will develop a treatment plan that indicates what he is prepared to do to improve the state of your overall health.

One option may be equilibration or occlusal adjustment, which involves reshaping certain teeth so that your bite functions normally, and your jaw joints no longer sustain the kind of pressure they once did. Another solution is a custom-made occlusal splint, which is created using digital impressions of your mouth.

The device is fabricated by lab technicians and is worn either throughout the day, to bed at night, or both. Not only does it create a barrier between teeth to minimize bruxism (if that is a problem), but it also alleviates pressure and tension placed on the jaw joints so that they function correctly and more fluidly.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

After having to live with constant pain in your jaw, you’re probably more than ready to take the first steps toward relief. Before you begin your TMJ treatment, however, it’s important to clear up any questions or concerns that you might have. You are always welcome to ask anything that might be on your mind when you visit Dr. Mahler for a consultation, but before that, you can check to see if we have already provided the answers you need in the following FAQs.

How Long Does TMJ Treatment Take?

The exact length of time needed to find relief with TMJ treatment is different for each patient. When wearing an occlusal splint, it can take weeks or even months for symptoms to go away. Meanwhile, with an occlusal adjustment, relief often comes relatively quickly, although precisely how quickly depends on the types of changes that have to be made. When you come to our office for a solution for a TMJ disorder, we can go over the available treatment options in more detail and help you set realistic expectations for what the timeline will look like.

Can TMJ Disorder Be Cured Permanently?

TMJ disorder doesn’t have to be something you live with for the rest of your life. In fact, it isn’t unheard of for the discomfort to eventually go away on its own. That said, when exploring options for TMJ treatment, it’s important to note that some methods are only meant to provide temporary relief. However, this is not the case for occlusal splints and occlusal adjustments; both treatments are meant to address the source of your TMJ disorder, and as such they tend to have lasting results.

Can TMJ Disorder Be Treated Without Surgery?

There are surgical treatments for TMJ disorder, but they aren’t always necessary; in fact, it’s generally preferable to try less invasive methods first. Occlusal splints and occlusal adjustments can both go a long way toward putting a stop to your TMJ-related pain without the need for a surgical approach. Generally speaking, surgery should be seen as a last resort for dealing with TMJ disorder; you should only pursue it if other treatment methods have already been tried and have failed to yield the desired outcome.

Is TMJ Treatment Covered by Insurance?

Some insurance plans do help pay for TMJ treatment. However, there are some crucial details to keep in mind:

  • TMJ treatment can potentially be covered by either medical insurance or dental insurance. It can vary based on the treatment being performed as well as the underlying cause of the disorder.
  • Some plans will put a limit on the types of TMJ treatments that they cover.
  • Some plans provide coverage for TMJ treatment while others don’t. It can vary depending on what state you’re in and what policy you have.

Rest assured that our team is ready to help you navigate your dental insurance coverage and show you the best way to maximize your benefits.