Monthly Archives: February 2018

Questions about TMJ

Top Questions About TMJ Treatment

You may opt for TMJ treatment if this disorder is interfering with your health and well-being or negatively affecting your quality of life. It’s important to accurately diagnose and promptly address the problem before any further joint damage occurs. A comprehensive treatment plan created by your oral surgeon, dentist and doctor is the best way to recover as soon as possible.

Questions about TMJ

As Richmond’s trusted oral surgical team, Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery hears many questions about TMJ treatment every day. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions and our answers.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

You may have developed TMJ disorder for a range of reasons. If you were injured in an accident, jaw damage and scar tissue could have contributed to the problem. General dental and orthodontic problems such as a bad bite could also be the cause. Jaw joint arthritis, stress, repeated jaw clenching, teeth grinding — the cause list continues, but it’s important to identify which applies to you.

This is something your dentist and doctor can assist with diagnosing as well because addressing the underlying problem is vital to your continued health and the success of any TMJ treatment.

Are There At-Home Remedies I Can Try?

Before we prescribe medication or discuss any intensive treatments like surgery, we always recommend trying massage and hot and cold compresses to relieve inflammation while an in-depth analysis is completed. This can relieve pain to a degree while the treatment team fully assesses your condition.

Which Treatment Option Is Right for Me?

There are a number of TMJ treatments, including prescription medication, oral appliances and surgical intervention. Which option is best for you depends on the cause of the problem. If you have had a physical jaw injury, surgery might be the only choice, but if the problem is caused by a bad bite, orthodontic treatment might be the first step.

When Do I Need Surgery?

Typically, your dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon when they believe that a surgical solution is possible. Arthroscopic surgery allows surgeons to see inside the joint and remove scar tissue and adhesions, but for extreme cases, opening and rebuilding the joint might be required.

Does My Insurance Cover TMJ Treatment?

Insurance companies differ on what they consider to be dental treatment and medical treatment. If it can be established that TMJ treatment is necessary for your physical health, your regular insurance might cover it. You can also check with your dental insurance provider to see what the cost-share ratio will look like if your main insurance plan doesn’t pick it up.

When you need TMJ treatment from a caring oral surgical team in Richmond, you know where to turn. Let’s resolve your TMJ disorder together — give us a call today.

dental implants

Dental Implants: Are There Age Restrictions?

When you’re missing a tooth, dental implants are one of the best tooth restoration options. They look and feel the most like a natural tooth. Whether your tooth loss is due to tooth decay or a sports injury, you don’t want to walk around without your complete smile no matter your age!

dental implants

But are there restrictions on age when it comes to dental implants?

Why Are Implants Needed?

Dental implants are ideal replacement teeth. A titanium screw with a post (also called an abutment) is drilled into the jawbone and a crown is then anchored on top. The crown is specifically formed to mimic the size and shape of the missing tooth. It functions just like the tooth you lost — maybe even better, since implants can’t decay!

This type of tooth restoration encourages jawbone health and prevents bone erosion. It doesn’t depend on surrounding teeth for support. But another byproduct of the fact that it is screwed into the jawbone is that it’s not the best choice for younger people.

It’s Less About Age, More About Development

Implants aren’t stable when placed in a jawbone that is still developing. They can be successful in teens aged 17 or 18, but it’s important that the vast majority of growth has already taken place beforehand. This is the only way implants are a viable option.

If a patient is on the cusp of implant eligibility, there are ways to see if the jawbone is close to fully grown. It’s possible to take X-rays, both of the mouth and other parts of the body, such as the wrist bone, to gauge development.

Given the fact that dental implants can last for decades, it’s always worthwhile to talk to your oral surgeon and determine if they are an option for a younger patient. You will get the most value for your money the earlier in life you get an implant.

No Upper Age Limits

For older adults, there is good news: You are never too old for dental implants. As long as your oral surgeon determines you are healthy enough to be sedated for the procedure, your age typically will not have any bearing on whether you can get dental implants.

When You Have to Wait

If dental implants aren’t an option for you now, be sure to talk with our team and your dentist about other effective tooth restorations. But if you’d like to learn more about the implant procedure, just schedule an appointment with us. At Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we’re happy to answer your questions and explain the process in-depth.