TMJ surgery cost: Sometimes surgery is the best solution

The TMJ, it’s a small joint with a large name and an important function. Your “TMJ” is your temporomandibular joint or jaw joint. It’s what makes it possible to open and close your mouth. One of the most used joints in your body, the term TMJ has come to mean anything that goes wrong with your face, head, neck, and jaws, but technically it refers only to the joining of the skull and mandible.

TMJ problems are not uncommon. Some people experience pain they when open and close their mouth or hear a clicking, grinding noise in their jaw joint. Others complain of headaches, earaches, neck pain or face pain. While it’s sometimes difficult to find the cause, it’s important to get to the root of a TMJ problem it to find the correct treatment. In some cases, when therapy or teeth restoration doesn’t solve the problem, TMJ surgery might be necessary.

It’s a big step. Why choose surgery?

There are many things that can cause TMJ, such as arthritis, injury, or constant teeth grinding during sleep. The most common TMJ cause that requires surgery is an unbalanced bite. Trained in neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Nancy Nehawandian of Top Down Dental in San Jose has a breadth of experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ bite problems. She knows that, in the long term, it is better to treat your jaw and bring it back into alignment than it is to treat your teeth and force your jaw to accommodate them.

An unbalanced bite can lead to health, comfort and aging issues. Dr. Nancy Nehawandian’s knowledge and experience qualify her to diagnose your TMJ problems and find the best treatment.  In some cases surgery is the best way to resolve a TMJ bite issue.

Undergoing jaw surgery will:

  • Making biting and chewing easier.
  • Stop the excessive wear and breakdown of your teeth that has occurred over years of use.
  • Correct a facial imbalance such as a deficient chin, under-bites, an overbite or a cross-bite.
  • Restore symmetry to the features in the middle and lower parts of your face.
  • Improve the look of your smile if your lips don’t fully close or pull upward when you grin, showing large areas of your gums.
  • Improve your “toothless” smile; a smile where the lips cover all the teeth.
  • Reduce the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease and other jaw diseases.
  • Repair and correct facial defects or abnormalities that have been sustained in an accident.
  • Provide relief for sleep apnea.

What to expect

There are a number of choices when it comes to TMJ surgery

  • An arthroscopic instrument can loosen sticky jaw joints or change the position of the disc that cushions your jaw.
  • Open arthroplasty repairs a displaced disc through an incision in front of the ear.
  • A total joint replacement may be required for severe cases. Two incisions are made, front of the ear and under the jaw angle to move your jaw into the correct position.

TMJ treatment can require surgery sometimesTMJ jaw surgery almost always occurs entirely inside your mouth and you shouldn’t have any scars or your face of chin afterwards. Dr. Nancy Nehawandian will make two incisions so that she can move your jawbones into the correct position. Once your jaws are properly aligned, she’ll secure the bones into their new position with screws and bone plates.

In some cases, she made need to add bone to your jaw. If this is the case, the extra bone is most often taken from your hip, leg, or rib and secured with temporary wires.
Jaw surgery is performed in a hospital and requires a two- to five-day stay. Recuperation at home usually takes three to six weeks.

Make a long-term investment and ditch your TMJ pain forever

If you suffer from any form of TMJ pain or discomfort, it’s important to have it diagnosed and treated sooner rather than later. With Dr. Nancy Nehawandian’s experience and training in neuromuscular dentistry, you can be sure you are getting the right treatment for your specific problem. With their commitment to caring and excellence, she and her staff at Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos will make sure you are well informed on the details of your TMJ treatment, including TMJ surgery cost and financing options.